White bean and shrimp stew with dandelion greens

Time 45 minutes
Yields Serves 6 to 8
White bean and shrimp stew with dandelion greens

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.


Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the pancetta and cook, stirring frequently, until it begins to brown and render its fat, about 3 minutes. Add the onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add 3 cloves of minced garlic (about 2 tablespoons) and cook until fragrant, about 3 minutes.


Add the dried beans and water, cover tightly and bring to a simmer. When the water is simmering, stir and place in the oven. Bake for 1 hour before stirring in 1 teaspoon of salt. Cover again and return to the oven to cook, stirring occasionally, until the beans are tender, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours total.


Meanwhile, season the shrimp with the pimenton, ground cumin, the remaining 1 clove minced garlic and one-half teaspoon of salt. Heat a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, add 1 tablespoon olive oil and, when it is very hot, add the shrimp. Cook, stirring constantly, until the shrimp are bright red on the outside and firm, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and reserve.


When the beans are tender, stir the shrimp and the chopped dandelion greens into the stew. Cook just long enough to wilt the greens, about 5 minutes. Season to taste, adding first salt and then the sherry vinegar, adding it about one-fourth teaspoon at a time. It will take only about 1 teaspoon total. The stew shouldn’t taste noticeably sour, just more complex.

Pimenton de la vera, smoked Spanish paprika, is available at select gourmet markets and cooking stores.

Russ Parsons is a former food writer and columnist at the Los Angeles Times.
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