greens and giant beans on toast

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This is a simple and rustic appetizer of garlicky, crispy giant white beans, sautéed swiss chard, and a ton of parmesan. Scoop the beans and greens on crunchy toast, drizzle with olive oil and serve for a delicious fall meal.

  • Author: Indi Hampton
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours
  • Yield: 6
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Cuisine: American


giant white beans (makes 3 cups of cooked beans)

  • 1/2 pound dried giant white beans such as Royal Corona or Gigante (about 1 1/2 cups), soaked overnight, drained
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 onion, peeled
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

swiss chard and giant white beans on toast

  • 3 cups cooked giant white beans (all of recipe above, or 2 cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed)
  • 8 1” thick slices of crusty bread
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided, plus more for drizzling
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 2 bunches swiss chard, ribs removed and discarded, leaves sliced into 1/2 inch ribbons
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan, plus more for serving


giant white beans

  1. Place soaked beans in a large pot and add water until beans are submerged by about 3 inches. Add the bay leaves, onion and garlic cloves and season with salt and black pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce to a gentle simmer and cook until beans are tender but not falling apart, about 1 ½ to 2 hours. Turn off heat and let beans cool in liquid. Alternatively, cook soaked beans in a pressure cooker for 50 minutes on high pressure. Drain and set aside.


swiss chard and giant white beans on toast

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Arrange sliced bread on a baking sheet, brush both sides with 2 tablespoons olive oil and season with salt and black pepper. Bake for 12- 15 minutes, or until golden on the edges and slightly springy in the center. Set aside until ready to serve.
  3. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium high heat in a large nonstick skillet. Add half of the swiss chard to the pan, season with salt and pepper and toss until wilted, about 2 minutes. Toss in the remaining half of the swiss chard, season with salt and pepper, and cook until all of it is wilted, another 2- 3 minutes. Transfer to a colander, drain, and press out the liquid with the back of a large spoon.
  4. In the same skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds, then add the beans and red pepper flakes (if using). Season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until beans begin to brown and get crispy, about 5 minutes. Transfer beans to a bowl and set aside.
  5. Add wine to the skillet and simmer, using a wooden spoon to scrape up the browned bits, until the liquid is reduced by half. Stir in swiss chard and simmer until most of the liquid has cooked off. Remove from heat and gently stir in beans and parmesan, careful not to break up the beans. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. To serve, spoon bean mixture over toast, top with shaved parmesan and drizzle with good olive oil.


  serves 6-8 as an appetizer

  • Beans can be made a day ahead. Store beans in their cooking liquid. If desired, freeze for up to 3 months. 
  • Filling can be stored in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 3 days.