Crisp-skinned duck breasts on white beans with dandelion greens
Crisp-skinned duck breasts (Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times)
Note: This can also be made without the duck breast by increasing the garlic sausage to 3/4 pound or more.
1/4 pound fresh garlic sausage, crumbled
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 carrot, diced
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 pound dried white beans, such as cannellini or Great Northern
6 cups water, plus more if necessary
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
1 bunch dandelion greens (about 3/4 pound)
1 to 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Cook the garlic sausage in olive oil in the bottom of a Dutch oven over medium heat on the stove top until the sausage has browned, about 7 minutes. Add the carrot and cook until it begins to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the onion and cook, stirring constantly to scrape up any browned sausage bits sticking to the bottom of the pan, until it begins to soften, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 3 minutes.
2. Add the dried beans, water and bay leaf. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Cover tightly and bake in the oven for 1 hour. Add the salt, stir, and continue cooking, covered, until the beans are tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour. The beans should be fairly dry, but if necessary, add more water, one-quarter cup at a time. Remove the bay leaf and discard. Season to taste with more salt if necessary, and freshly ground black pepper. (The dish can be prepared up to this point a day ahead and refrigerated, tightly covered.)
3. When almost ready to serve, chop the dandelion greens in 1-inch sections down to where you're getting almost all stem. You should have 3 to 4 cups.