Turnip greens and beans: typical Abruzzese recipe

The side dish (or single dish, based on the quantity served) based on turnip greens and beans is one of the most famous typical recipes of the delicious cuisine of Abruzzo. This cuisine is based on typical meat dishes, with predominant use of game and therefore wild boar, rabbit and so on, and dishes based on fish, especially blue, such as sardines and anchovies.

But Abruzzo also has a farming tradition and therefore there is no lack of dishes based on vegetables, perfect for lovers of vegetarian cuisine. Abruzzesi make a lot of use of legumes and turnip greens and beans is the perfect combination of taste and nutrients. Preparing the dish at home is quite easy and, apart from the soaking time of the legumes, the recipe is really simple and feasible: a very good budget veggie dish, affordable for everyone!

A mix of traditional country flavors

Turnip greens and beans, pasta all’amatriciana, tiramisu, panna cotta, fish alla Norma, meat sauce, Florentine steak and so on and so forth. Italian recipes are famous all over the world because they are characterized by their extremely different but at the same time delicious flavors, able to please, in some way, the tastes of everyone, including the most demanding gourmets.

The Italian culinary scene is vast and varied: the typical dishes change a lot from region to region.

This is due to the multifaceted nature of Italy, which boasts a history of raids, wars and settlements that have involved culturally diverse populations from north to south, like Greeks and Normans, but also to the fact that Italy is a colorful country from a geographical point of view. For a simple question of availability of raw materials, we will find regions where meat dishes predominate and regions where the predominant courses are fish-based. Or again based on cereals, vegetables and greens.

Typical Abruzzese recipes: the true example of “sea and mountains” cuisine

Abruzzo overlooks the splendid Adriatic sea and coastal towns like Pescara and Vasto boast an important commercial fishing activity, but its hinterland is also made up of woods and mountain ranges, even very high (we remember the presence of the splendid Abruzzo National Park). Abruzzese cuisine is thus a perfect mix of meat dishes, with a large use of game, and fish. But also vegetables and especially legumes, cultivated with passion throughout the region.

Turnip greens and beans: the typical recipe of Abruzzo

Among the most famous recipes of Abruzzo, such as the famous Bocconotti, sweets filled with jam, we also find sweets like parrozzo, almond-flavored almond cake, or sweet ravioli filled with ricotta. Among the recipes of Abruzzo we find meat dishes such as rolled rabbit or the famous “arrosticini”, but also dishes based on fish like the traditional anchovy tiella. As for the dishes based on vegetables and legumes, be sure to mention  turnip greens and beans, much appreciated throughout the region.

Turnip greens and beans: ingredients and preparation

If you want to prepare a real made in Italy recipe at home, turnip greens and beans are definitely what you need. It is a simple dish, cheap and with a delicious flavor, which can be eaten as a side dish or, depending on the quantity, also as a single dish. Below, the ingredients and the recipe to prepare approximately 6 servings:

Turnip greens and beans ingredients

  • 2kg of turnip greens
  • 400g of dried beans (better if borlotti or cannellini)
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 hot pepper (3/4 cm)
  • 60 ml of EVO oil
  • Salt to taste.

Preparation of turnip greens and beans

Soak the beans in cold water overnight. In the morning, boil them for about an hour in boiling salted water, drain well and let them cool. In a separate pot, boil the turnips, already cleaned and cut into 3 parts lengthwise for about 10/15 minutes.

Once ready, in a pan (preferably earthenware), cook the garlic and the chilli pepper in 60 ml of oil. Once the garlic has taken on a golden color, transfer the cooked turnips and beans inside the pan and cook for another 10 minutes. The dish is served!


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