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Creamy Beans and Greens

Creamy Beans and Greens. / Photo by: EE Berger / Food Styling: Ross Yedinak / Prop Styling: Stephanie Potts

Adapted from I Dream of Dinner (So You Don’t Have To) (Clarkson Potter, 2022), by Ali Slagle

In her cookbook, I Dream of Dinner (So You Don’t Have To), Ali Slagle heroically shares quick, easy dinner ideas that use ingredients people are likely to have on hand. This one hits the mark, with hearty chickpeas and greens that luxuriate in a flavorful milky bath. If you’re hoping to make this vegan, coconut milk would be a good substitute based on fat content or go with oat milk for its body.


Also known as garbanzo beans, chickpeas have been cultivated around the Mediterranean Sea for at least 9,000 years. Their mild flavor makes them well-suited for dishes where their beaniness is not the focal point, like falafel, hummus and chana dal. The liquid they are cooked or canned in, aquafaba, can also be used instead of eggs in some baking and cocktail applications.

¼ cup olive oil, plus more for serving
3 sprigs rosemary
Salt and pepper
6 cloves garlic, smashed
1 head or bunch bitter winter greens, such as kale, broccoli rabe or escarole, cut into 1-inch thick strips
1½ cups whole milk
3 cups cooked chickpeas, or 2 15-ounce cans, rinsed and drained
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
Crusty bread, for serving


In large Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium low. Add rosemary sprigs, and fry until leaves are crisp and sizzling subsides, about 3–4 minutes. Transfer to paper towel and season, to taste, with salt and pepper.

Add garlic to pot and cook until freckled golden. Add greens, season with salt and pepper, and toss until wilted. Add milk, chickpeas and red pepper flakes. Bring to gentle simmer (avoid full boil). Reduce heat to maintain simmer, then partially cover until mixture has thickened slightly and tastes great, approximately 10–15 minutes. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.

Remove rosemary sprigs. Pinch top of each sprig and swipe fingers downward to remove leaves. Crumble leaves between fingers and add to beans. Serve with or on bread, and drizzle with additional olive oil, if you like. Serves 4.

Wine Pairing

Nino Franco NV Rustico (Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore)

When pairing this dish, it’s crucial to find a wine with acidity and texture to cut through the milkiness and cleanse the palate, without steamrolling the earthier flavors of greens and mild chickpeas. This savory, acid-driven wine has just the right balance of salinity and tart, delicate citrus.

This article originally appeared in the February/March 2022 issue of Wine Enthusiast magazine. Click here to subscribe today!