Chard and Zucchini in White Bean Sauce

The sauce is based on a white bean pizza sauce found in Tuscany, but I figured it would go just as well with sautéed zucchini and stewed greens. Make sure to cook the zucchini and greens separate so the texture comes out right and if you forgo the water in the recipe, you can use the sauce as a delicious white bean dip to be served with crostini or fresh veggies.

Italiano:  Bietola e Zucchini en Salsa di Cannellini


Makes 4 servings
Time to Make: 25 minutes


The Sauce

8 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 cups of cooked, rinsed cannellini beans
Juice of 1 lemon
¾ teaspoon of salt
¼ cup of olive oil
¼ cup of water

The Zucchini

4 zucchini, chopped into bite-size pieces
1 tablespoon of olive oil
¼ teaspoon of salt

The Greens

2 large bunches of chard or whatever greens you have around, sliced into thick ribbons
1 tablespoon of olive oil
¼ teaspoon of salt


Saute the garlic over medium heat in 2 tablespoons of olive oil for 3 minutes. Puree the garlic and oil from the pan with the beans, lemon juice, salt, olive oil, and water. Set the sauce aside.

“You don’t need to saute the garlic to make a great white bean sauce, but it does help develop the flavor. Also, if you omit the water from the sauce, you’ve got a great dipping sauce. Just add a teaspoon of minced rosemary and 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper.” 

In a large saute pan over medium heat, saute the zucchini in the oil with the salt until the zucchini is lightly browned, about 7 to 10 minutes. Remove this from the pan and set it aside.

“Sauteeing and then removing the zucchini from the pan allows you to brown the zucchini, and then keep it from getting mushy by overcooking it.” 

In the same pan, add the greens, olive oil, and salt and stir. Cover the pan and cook the greens over a medium heat until the greens are completely soft, stirring them every couple of minutes.

“You can make this with any sort of hearty green, like kale or beet greens. You can also use spinach, but you need about 6 times the amount of spinach.” 

Once the greens are soft, add the zucchini and bean sauce, stir, and let it simmer for about 4 to 5 minutes, then serve.

“This recipe was one of the big hits on our vegan food vacation I hosted in Italy this year. I can’t get enough of it.”

Make It Low-fat

Don’t saute the garlic. Simply blend it into the sauce. It will cook as the bean sauce simmers. Alternatively, you can pan roast it by placing whole, unpeeled garlic cloves on a dry iron skillet over medium heat. When the paper develops a dark brown splotch, flip it and repeat. Take the garlic off the pan, peel it, and blend it directly into the sauce. When you saute the zucchini, do it in a completely dry pan over medium-high heat until it browns.


Large Saute Pan
Cutting Board
Stirring Spoon
Measuring Spoon
Measuring Cup
Bowl to hold the cooked zucchini