Sarah Scott's Soft Tacos with Beans 'n' Greens

Rancho Gordo Cooking Main Dishes Recipe for Sarah Scott's Soft Tacos with Heirloom Beans and Greens

One of the best parts of my job is meeting interesting people in the food business. Sarah Scott is well-known here in Napa for her work at for the Robert Mondavi WineryFolio Winemaker's Studio and as co-author of The Wild Table (with Connie Green). This recipe was developed for the now defunct Winemaker's Studio in Napa's Oxbow Marketplace. 

BEANS:

1 lb. Red Nightfall or Yellow Indian Woman beans
1 onion, peeled and cut in quarters
1 carrot, peeled and cut in large chunks
1 stalk celery, cut in large chunks
5 cloves garlic, peeled
1 bay leaf
6 branches fresh thyme
Salt (do not add salt until very end of cooking beans)

Soak beans overnight in water, refrigerated. The next day, drain and place in large pot with plenty of cold water. Wrap the vegetables and herbs in cheesecloth and tie with string to make a bouquet garni. Place in the pot with the beans and water. Bring to a boil, then turn down and simmer until tender, about 1 ½ - 2 hours. Turn beans off, season to taste with salt and allow to cool in the cooking liquid. Refrigerate until ready to use. Beans can be made a day in advance and will keep for up to 4 days in the refrigerator.

GREENS:
2 bunches swiss chard
6 cloves garlic, peeled and finely minced
1 large onion, peeled and finely diced
Dried oregano
Juice of 1 lemon
Olive oil
Salt and Pepper

Cut out the center stems of the chard and set aside. Wash the leaves in plenty of cold water to remove sand and dirt. Cut into 1” strips and set aside until ready to finish tacos.  Wash the stems and cut into small dice.
Heat some olive oil in a large saute pan over medium high heat. When the pan is hot, add the diced onion and 1/2 the minced garlic. Stir to combine. Cook for a few minutes, then add the diced chard stems. Add salt and pepper and mix well.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions and chard stems are tender to the bite, about 8 minutes.  Add lemon juice and stir.  Set aside until ready to finish tacos.

THE TACOS:

½  lb. Vella dry jack cheese, grated
32 taco-sized flour or corn tortillas, warmed and wrapped in a towel or foil
Hot sauce

Heat some olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. When the pan is hot, add the swiss chard leaves, stirring to coat evenly with the olive oil. Add the remaining minced garlic and some salt and pepper. Continue cooking, stirring frequently, until the leaves are wilted. Add a splash of water to the pan and cover, to steam and soften the greens, for 5-6 minutes. Remove cover and continue cooking, until tender, and all liquid is absorbed. Add the reserved, drained beans and cooked chard stems. Cook until heated through. Taste for seasoning and add salt, pepper or additional lemon juice,  if needed.
Double up the warm tortillas and spoon in some of  the chard and bean filling. Top with the grated cheese and add Hot Sauce to taste.

 

Sarah Scott
April, 2007