Swiss Chard, Sausage, and Bean Stew with Carrot Top Pesto: or Where the Hell Has Pickled Rose Been the Last 5 Years?
Hello there, and Happy New Year! I probably have a bit of explaining to do. I know it’s been a LOOOOOOONG time since I’ve posted- 4 years, 11 months, and 26 days to be exact. A LOT has happened since February 27th, 2014. Here’s the short version: I got pregnant!, my husband got offered a job in Seattle, then we packed up and moved out of our tiny one bedroom apartment in San Francisco and headed to the Emerald City. My daughter was born in 2016 and I’ve been a stay at home mom ever since. Now that she’s nearly two and a half, I thought it was time to dust off the blog and give her a good old fashioned makeover. And who doesn’t love a good makeover story, right?
New logo, new layout, new recipes, and a new weekly segment featuring art (by me!) and food! I hope this becomes a space you visit and cook from often. Welcome back, friends! I’m so happy to have you here.
I wanted to kick-start the new year off with one of my favorite cold weather stews. It’s budget friendly, toddler approved, and is exactly what you need when it’s miserable outside. Creamy beans, porky sausage, and loads of greens to make you feel like you’re doing something good for your body. And let’s not forget about the vibrant carrot top pesto that adds just the right amount of saltiness and acidity to cut through the richness of the stew. Serve it with a crusty hunk of bread, and you’re ready to binge watch Netflix until Spring comes.
Swiss Chard, Sausage, and Bean Stew with Carrot Top Pesto
1 lb dried great northern beans
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 lbs Italian sausage
1 large onion, diced (approximately 2 1/2 C)
1 bunch of carrots with green tops, sliced (approximately 2 C) *reserve tops for pesto
1 bunch swiss chard, stems chopped and leaves torn into smallish pieces
1/4 C garlic, minced
2 tsp dried thyme
3 tsp kosher salt
4 C low sodium chicken broth
1 parmesean rind
carrot top pesto (see below)
Carrot Top Pesto:
reserved tops from 1 bunch of carrots, leaves and tender stems removed from tough stalks (approximately 2 C)
2 small cloves garlic
1/2 C unsalted shelled pistachios
1/4 C lemon juice
1/3 C finely grated parmesean cheese
1/4 C olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
In a large bowl, add beans and cover with water. Let beans soak overnight, and drain when ready to start the stew. In a large dutch oven over medium high heat, add 2 Tbsp olive oil and Italian sausage, and cook until browned. Remove sausage and drain in a bowl lined with paper towel. Remove any excess grease, leaving 1-2 Tbsp in the pan. Add carrots, onions, garlic, and chard stems. Season with salt, pepper, and thyme, and saute until onions are translucent and the carrots begin to soften. Add beans, parmesean rind, and chicken stock, and stir to combine. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 2 hours, or until beans are creamy and cooked all the way through. Add sausage and swiss chard and cook just until chard is wilted. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
While stew is cooking, make carrot top pesto. In a food processor, add all ingredients and pulse until smooth and creamy.
Top stew with a large dollop of carrot top pesto and serve with crusty bread.