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Zucchini, Asparagus, and Chard in Basil and White Bean Sauce (D)
Source: "The Vegetarian Bistro"
Serves: 4

2 cup cooked white beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup vegetable stock
1/2 cup heavy cream, or as desired
1 bunch Swiss chard, stemmed
3 tablespoons water
2 zucchini, chopped
1/2 bunch (see note) asparagus, trimmed of tough ends
1 to 2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup prepared pesto (the original recipe calls for homemade pesto but my hostess made it with purchased pesto and it was fine)

In a blender or food processor, puree the beans and stock until very smooth. Pour the pureed beans into a saucepan with the cream and heat over medium heat until bubbles form around the edges and the mixture is thickened. Stir as you cook so that the puree does not scorch or burn. Remove from heat and keep warm.

In a heavy, covered saucepan large enough to hold all the chard, cook the chard over medium heat in water for about 6 minutes, or until the leaves are bright green and glossy. Remove from heat. Using a slotted spoon, remove the chard and rinse in cold water, or just let cool. When cool enough to handle, squeeze the chard dry and roll into little balls. Set them aside.

Steam the zucchini over boiling water in a covered pot until crisp-tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Drain and keep warm. Cook the asparagus in boiling water to cover until just crisp-tender, about 4 minutes.

Melt butter over medium heat in a large heavy skillet and heat the vegetables for minutes. Set aside and keep warm. Remove the hot bean puree from the stove and stir in the pesto. Pour into shallow soup bowls, arrange the vegetables on top, and serve immediately.

Poster's Notes:
For dinner with the vegetarian rabbi...this isn't tried and true, but I have had it. I had it at a potluck several weeks ago, and I bought the book "The Vegetarian Bistro" because the person who made this says she gets many good recipes from the book.

I'm not sure what is meant by a half a bunch, but when sold in the grocery stores around here a bunch is approximately a pound, so I think a half pound should do quite nicely.

Posted by Gypsy/Phyllis Wilson

Nutritional Info Per Serving: N/A