Spinach Salad with Rhubarb

2 cups chopped fresh or frozen rhubarb
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup white vinegar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
3 tablespoons grated onion
1-1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt

SALAD:
6 cups torn fresh spinach
6 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
1/2 cup bean sprouts
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 to 2 hard-boiled large eggs, chopped

In a saucepan, combine rhubarb, sugar and vinegar; cook over medium heat until the rhubarb is tender, about 6 minutes. Drain, reserving about 6 tablespoons juice; discard pulp.
Pour juice into a jar with tight-fitting lid; add oil, onion, Worcestershire sauce and salt. Shake well. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Just before serving, combine salad ingredients in a large bowl. Add the dressing and toss to coat.

Note

If using frozen rhubarb, measure rhubarb while still frozen, then thaw completely. Drain in a colander, but do not press liquid out.

Spinach and Fennel Salad with Grapefruit

3 tablespoons red grapefruit juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon honey
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 large fennel bulb
2 large red grapefruit, sectioned
1 cup fresh baby spinach
1/4 cup shaved Romano cheese
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds

In a small bowl, whisk the first five ingredients. Remove fronds from fennel; set aside for garnish. Cut bulb into thin slices and coarsely chop the slices. In a large bowl, combine the chopped fennel, grapefruit and spinach. Drizzle dressing over salad; toss to coat.

Divide salad among four plates; sprinkle cheese and pomegranate seeds over salads. Garnish with fennel fronds.

Spinach and Fennel Salad with Apple

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
8 cups fresh arugula or baby spinach
1 large fennel bulb, thinly sliced
1 large tart apple, julienned
3 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 ounces crumbled goat cheese
1 cup glazed walnuts

In a small bowl, bring vinegar to a boil; cook 4-5 minutes or until thickened to a glaze consistency. Cool slightly.

In a large bowl, combine arugula, fennel and apple. In a small bowl, whisk lemon juice, oil, pepper and salt until blended. Pour over salad and toss to coat. Add cheese and walnuts.
Drizzle eight plates with balsamic glaze. Top with salad.

Spinach (or Arugula) Salad with Nectarines

4 cups fresh arugula or baby spinach
4 cups torn Bibb or Boston lettuce
3 medium nectarines, sliced
2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
2 tablespoons crumbled blue cheese

DRESSING:
2 tablespoons raspberry vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/8 teaspoon salt
Dash pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil

In a large bowl, combine the first five ingredients. In a small bowl, whisk vinegar, sugar, mustard, salt and pepper. Gradually whisk in oil until blended. Drizzle over salad; toss to coat.

To toast nuts, bake in a shallow pan in a 350° oven for 5-10 minutes or cook in a skillet over low heat until lightly browned, stirring occasionally.

Spinach Salad with Kiwi and Strawberries

1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup raspberry vinegar
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon paprika
2 green onions, chopped
2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
12 cups torn fresh spinach (about 9 ounces)
2 pints fresh strawberries, halved
4 kiwifruit, peeled and sliced

Place the first five ingredients in a blender; cover and process 30 seconds or until blended. Transfer to a bowl; stir in green onions, sesame seeds and poppy seeds.

In a large bowl, combine spinach, strawberries and kiwi. Drizzle with dressing; toss to coat.

Melon and Spinach Salad

1/4 cup rice vinegar or white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon grated lime zest
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons canola oil
4 teaspoons minced fresh gingerroot
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon pepper

SALAD:
4 cups fresh baby spinach or arugula
3 cups cubed seedless watermelon
2 cups cubed cantaloupe
2 cups cubed English cucumber
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 green onions, chopped

In a small bowl, whisk the first nine ingredients. In a large bowl, combine salad ingredients. Drizzle with dressing and toss to coat; serve immediately.

Spinach Salad with Heirloom Tomatoes

2 cups cut-up heirloom tomatoes
1 cup multicolored cherry tomatoes, halved
2 cups fresh baby spinach
1/2 cup sliced red onion

DRESSING:
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon rubbed sage

Place tomatoes, spinach and onion in a large bowl. Whisk together dressing ingredients; toss with salad. Refrigerate, covered, 2 hours. Serve with a slotted spoon.

Spinach Salad with Apples, Pears, and Nuts

8-10 cups baby spinach (or other greens)
1 apple cored and finely chopped
1 pear cored and finely chopped (instead of 1 apple and 1 pear you could 2 apples or 2 pears)
1/2 cup candied pecans (or walnuts, or other nuts)
1/4 lb crumbled feta (or goat cheese, or blue cheese)

Salad dressing:
4 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1 garlic clove, pressed
1/4 teaspoon salt

In a salad bowl, combine greens, fruit, nuts, and cheese.
In a separate bowl (or blender) combine all the salad dressing ingredients (olive oil, vinegar, honey, dry mustard, garlic and salt) and whisk to combine.

Pour dressing over salad and serve.

Spinach and Strawberry Salad

1 lb. fresh spinach
1 cup strawberries, sliced
1/4 cup almonds
2 ounces feta cheese

Strawberry Dressing:

7 large strawberries, cut in half
Fresh lemon juice, from 1 lemon
Drizzle of agave nectar
Salt and pepper, to taste

Place the spinach in a medium bowl. Top with sliced strawberries, almonds, and feta cheese.

For the dressing, put the cut up strawberries in a blender. Squeeze lemon juice into the blender. Drizzle the strawberries with agave nectar. If your strawberries are ripe and sweet, you will only need a little agave nectar. Make according to your taste. Blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

Pour dressing over spinach and strawberry salad.

Classic Fettuccine Alfredo

12 ounces fettuccine or other long pasta
Kosher salt
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
3/4 cup finely grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
Freshly ground black pepper

Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until very al dente. Drain, reserving 2 cups pasta cooking liquid.

Transfer 1 cup pasta cooking liquid to a large skillet. Bring to a gentle simmer, then whisk in butter, a piece at a time, until melted. Whisking constantly, gradually add cheese, making sure it’s completely melted and incorporated before adding more. Add pasta and toss to coat, adding more pasta cooking liquid as needed, until sauce blankets noodles completely. Serve topped with pepper and more cheese.

From Bon Appetit.

Shrimp and Grits

Grits

1 cup yellow grits (not instant)
1 cup grated sharp white cheddar
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 jalapeño, seeded, diced
1/4 cup heavy cream
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper

Shrimp

1/2 cup 1/3′ cubes tasso, andouille sausage, or bacon
1 tablespoon vegetable oil (optional)
3 garlic cloves, sliced
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter, divided
16 large shrimp (about 1 pound), peeled, deveined
1/4 cup (or more) beer
1/4 cup low-salt chicken stock
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon

Grits

Bring 3 cups water to a simmer in a large saucepan. Gradually whisk in grits. Turn heat to low; gently simmer until grits begin to thicken. Continue cooking, stirring often and adding water by 1/4 cupfuls if too thick, until tender, about 1 hour. Stir in cheese, butter, and jalapeño, then cream. Season with salt and pepper. Keep warm.

Shrimp

Meanwhile, heat a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add tasso; sauté until fat begins to render, about 5 minutes (if tasso is very lean, add 1 tablespoon oil to skillet). Add garlic and 1 tablespoon butter; stir until butter melts. Add shrimp. When garlic begins to brown, add beer and chicken stock. Simmer until shrimp is cooked through, about 2 minutes. Remove skillet from heat; set aside.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add remaining 1 tablespoon butter to skillet; swirl to melt and cover bottom of pan. Crack eggs into pan and cook until whites are just set but yolks are still runny, about 3 minutes.

Divide grits among bowls, forming a well in center. Spoon shrimp mixture into center of grits. Top with egg. Sprinkle tarragon over.

From Bon Appetit.

Chicken Pot Pie with Puff Pastry Crust

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1 large shallot, finely chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1/3 cup Wondra or all-purpose flour, plus more for surface
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup whole milk
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 oz. carrots (about 6 small), peeled, chopped
4 cups coarsely chopped or shredded chicken meat (from 1 small rotisserie chicken)
1 1/2 cups frozen pearl onions, thawed
1 1/2 tcups frozen peas, thawed
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Hot sauce
Worcestershire sauce
1 sheet frozen puff pastry (one 14-oz. package or half of 17.3-oz. package), thawed in refrigerator
1 large egg, beaten to blend

Preheat oven to 400°. Heat butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add shallot and thyme and cook, stirring often, until shallot is translucent and golden, about 4 minutes. Add ? cup flour and cook, whisking constantly, until mixture is pale golden and smells like popcorn, 5–8 minutes.

Whisk in broth ½-cupful at a time, incorporating completely before adding more. Whisk in milk; season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, whisking occasionally, until mixture is thick enough to coat a spoon, 10–15 minutes. Add carrots and cook until just tender, about 5 minutes.

Mix in chicken, onions, peas, and parsley; season with hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper.

Transfer mixture to a shallow 2-qt. baking dish. Unfold pastry and gently roll out on a lightly floured work surface just to smooth creases and make large enough to fit over dish, if needed. Drape over baking dish and trim pastry so it is slightly larger than the dish (you want a little overhang). Brush with egg and make 2 or 3 slits in the pastry with a sharp knife.

Place baking dish on a rimmed baking sheet (to catch any filling that may drip over) and bake until puff pastry is golden brown and filling is bubbling through slits in pastry, 20–25 minutes. Reduce heat to 350° and bake until puff pastry is deep golden brown and cooked through, 30–35 minutes longer. Let sit 10 minutes before serving.

From Bon Appetit.

Macaroni and Cheese

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
3/4 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided, plus more
8 ounces cavatappi or other short curly pasta
2 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 small onion, grated
1 garlic clove, finely grated
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 ounces Fontina cheese, grated (about 1 cup)
4 ounces Gruyère, grated (about 1 cup)
4 ounces sharp white cheddar, grated (about 1 cup)
1/2 teaspoon English mustard powder (such as Colman’s)
Pinch of cayenne pepper

Preheat oven to 350°. Melt 2 Tbsp. butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add panko and cook, stirring, until crumbs are golden brown, 6–8 minutes (make sure to get them toasty brown; they won’t darken much during baking). Transfer to a small bowl and toss with Parmesan, thyme leaves, and ¼ tsp. salt.

Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente (the noodles will continue to cook in the cheese sauce, so take them out a minute or two before you think they’re actually done). Drain pasta; let cool while you make the sauce.

Bring milk to a bare simmer in a small saucepan; keep warm. Melt remaining 2 Tbsp. butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until onions are fragrant and beginning to soften, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle flour over and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture starts to stick to bottom of saucepan, about 1 minute. Add warm milk in a few additions, whisking to combine after each addition.

Bring béchamel sauce to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, stirring, until sauce is thickened and doesn’t feel grainy when a little bit is rubbed between your fingers, 6–8 minutes (cooking the flour thoroughly at this stage ensures a creamy sauce). Add Fontina, Gruyère, cheddar, mustard powder, cayenne, and ¾ tsp. salt and stir until cheeses are melted and sauce is smooth. Remove from heat and mix in pasta; transfer to a 2-qt. baking dish.

Bake 10 minutes. Top with Parmesan breadcrumbs and bake until sauce is bubbling around the edges, 8–10 minutes longer. Let cool in pan 15 minutes before serving.

From Bon Appetit.

Spinach and Artichoke Dip

1 bunch spinach, thick stems trimmed
Kosher salt
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 large shallot, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely grated
Freshly ground black pepper
4 ounces cream cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 10-oz. package frozen artichoke hearts, thawed, chopped
3/4 cup grated Parmesan
Crackers, chips, or toasted baguette (for serving)

Preheat oven to 400°. Cook spinach in a large pot of lightly salted boiling water until wilted, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a bowl of ice water to cool. Drain spinach, squeezing out excess liquid, then transfer to a clean kitchen towel and use the towel to wring out as much liquid as possible. Be thorough and use some muscle; water from the spinach will make the dip thin and runny (not what you want). Transfer spinach to a cutting board and coarsely chop.

Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add shallot and cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add spinach and cook, stirring, until pan begins to look dry, about 2 minutes; season spinach with salt and pepper. Let cool.

Pulse cream cheese, sour cream, and mayonnaise in a food processor, scraping down sides of bowl as needed, until combined and smooth. Transfer mixture to a medium bowl and fold in artichoke hearts, Parmesan, and spinach mixture; season with salt and pepper.

Scrape mixture into a 1-qt. baking dish and bake until golden brown on top, 20–25 minutes. Let dip cool slightly. Serve with crackers, chips, toast, or—dare we say it?—a vegetable.

From Bon Appetit

Standing Pork Rib Roast with Cracklings

One 8-rib pork loin roast with skin (about 5 1/2 pounds)—ribs frenched, skin scored at 1/2-inch intervals and tied
1/2 cup kosher salt

Place the pork loin on a rimmed baking sheet. Season generously all over with 1/4 cup of the salt, then sprinkle the skin with the remaining 1/4 cup of salt to create a thin layer of salt over it; be sure to push the salt into the crevices in the skin at each score. Refrigerate uncovered overnight.

Let the pork stand at room temperature for 3 hours. ?Preheat the oven to 275°. Set ?a rack in a large roasting pan. Using a damp towel, brush the excess salt off the roast, then transfer to the pan skin side up. Bake for about 1 hour and ?30 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part registers 115°.

Increase the heat to 450° and continue to roast for about 50 minutes longer, until the skin is crisp and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part registers 135°. Transfer the roast to a carving board and let rest for 30 minutes. Remove and discard the ties. Using a sharp serrated knife, slice the meat and serve.

Risotto with Sausage and Parsley

1 1/2 pounds sweet or hot Italian sausage
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
5 to 6 cups chicken stock, ideally homemade
1 to 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large onion, peeled and diced
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup packed and roughly grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
1/2 of 1 lemon
1/2 cup finely chopped parsley

With the tip of a small, sharp knife, slit open the sausage casings. Crumble the meat into a wide, heavy skillet or Dutch oven, and set over medium heat. If the meat is not rendering enough fat to coat the bottom of the pan as it begins to cook, add olive oil, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the meat is frying gently, not steaming. Sprinkle the salt and pepper over the sausage, and cook, breaking up any large chunks of sausage and stirring occasionally, until the meat is opaque and crisp at the edges, approximately 10 minutes. Remove sausage from pan, and reserve 1 tablespoon of the rendered fat.

Pour the stock into a medium saucepan or pot, and bring to a low simmer.

While the stock heats, return the heavy skillet or Dutch oven to medium-low heat, and add to it the 1 tablespoon reserved sausage fat and 1 tablespoon butter, or 2 tablespoons butter if you don’t want to cook with the sausage fat.

When the butter foams, add the diced onion, and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, until it is soft and translucent, approximately 5 to 7 minutes.

Add the rice, and stir until well coated, adding another tablespoon of fat if necessary. Stir until translucent, an additional 5 to 7 minutes.

Raise the heat under the rice to medium, and add the wine to the skillet. Stir until wine is absorbed, then reduce the heat slightly.

Begin adding ladlefuls of hot broth to the rice, stirring constantly and allowing each addition to be absorbed before adding the next. Cook rice until it is tender but slightly chewy, approximately 20 to 30 minutes. You may not need all the broth. You may need more than you have; if additional liquid is needed, you can use boiling water.

Remove the skillet from heat, and add the cheese, stirring to mix it into the rice. Add the sausage to the rice, and stir again. Taste, and adjust seasonings with additional salt and pepper if necessary.

Squeeze the lemon over the rice, and then mound the risotto on a large, warmed bowl. Scatter the parsley over the top, and serve immediately, with more grated Parmesan on the side

Classic Baked Macaroni and Cheese

FOR THE MACARONI AND CHEESE:
1 pound elbows, shells, cavatappi, farfalle, fusilli or other short, tube-shaped pasta
Kosher salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
4 cups whole milk
1 clove garlic, finely grated
1 teaspoon smoked or hot paprika
Freshly ground pepper
12 ounces sharp or white Cheddar cheese, grated
12 ounces fontina or Gruyère, grated

FOR THE TOPPING (OPTIONAL):
1 cup coarse bread crumbs or panko
4 tablespoons melted butter or olive oil
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Cook pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water until it’s barely al dente. (It should be more al dente than your average pasta: It’s going to continue to cook in the oven.) Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, heat butter in a medium pot over medium heat. (The pot should be large enough to hold all the pasta when cooked.) Whisk in flour and cook, whisking constantly, until the flour is foamy and just starting to turn a light golden brown, about 4 minutes. Slowly whisk in milk to avoid clumping. Add garlic, paprika and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer, whisking constantly and paying special attention to the edges of the pot to make sure the flour mixture is totally incorporated.

Add grated cheese and whisk to blend until the cheese is completely melted. (The sauce will seem thick at first and thin out as the cheese melts; it will thicken while it bakes.) Season with salt and pepper and add cooked pasta, stirring to coat well.

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil (to catch any cheesy drips).

Make the optional topping: Combine bread crumbs, melted butter and Parmesan, if using, in a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper and, using your hands, mix well to ensure the bread crumbs are evenly coated.

Transfer the macaroni and cheese mixture to a 3-quart or 9 x 13 baking dish and scatter bread crumbs, if using, evenly over the top. Place on prepared baking sheet and bake until macaroni and cheese is bubbling, thickened and creamy, and bread crumbs are evenly golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving.

Creamy Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese

1 pound elbows, shells, cavatappi, farfalle, fusilli or other short, tube-shaped pasta
Kosher salt
2 cups whole milk
8 ounces cream cheese, cut into 1-inch pieces
12 ounces sharp or white Cheddar, grated
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
Freshly ground pepper

Cook pasta in a large pot of salted water until just barely al dente; drain.

Meanwhile, bring milk up to a simmer in a large pot. (The pot should be large enough to hold all the pasta when cooked.) Reduce heat to low, add cream cheese, and whisk until it’s completely blended and no lumps remain. Add Cheddar cheese and butter, whisking until everything is completely melted. Season with salt and a generous amount of pepper.

Add cooked pasta and stir to coat. Continue to cook over medium-low heat until the sauce has thickened and is coating each piece of pasta nicely, 2 to 3 minutes; sauce will continue to thicken as it cools. Season again with more salt and pepper before serving.

Ham and Cheese Scones

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into cubes
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/3 cup diced ham, bacob, or pancetta
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat; set aside.

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, garlic powder and salt. Add cold butter, using your fingers to work the butter into the dry ingredients until it resembles coarse crumbs.

Stir in buttermilk, cheese, ham and chives until a soft dough forms.

Working on a lightly floured surface, knead the dough 3-4 times until it comes together. Using a rolling pill, roll the dough into an 8? circle, about 1-inch thick, and cut into 8 wedges.

Place scones onto the prepared baking sheet. Place into oven and bake for 18-20 minutes, or until firm to the touch and lightly browned.

Serve immediately.

Cannellini with Tomatoes and Sage

FOR OVEN-CURED TOMATOES:
6 PLUM TOMATOES
1 TABLESPOON CHOPPED FRESH FLAT-LEAF PARSLEY
3 TO 4 TABLESPOONS EXTRA-VIRGIN OLIVE OIL
SALT

BEANS:

1 POUND RUNNER CANNELLINI or CELLINI BEANS, soaked
1 MEDIUM CARROT, peeled and quartered
1 CELERY STALK, cut into thirds
1 GARLIC HEAD, halved
3 FRESH SAGE SPRIGS 3
FRESH ROSEMARY SPRIGS
SALT
1/4 CUP SAFFLOWER or GRAPESEED OIL for frying
20 FRESH SAGE LEAVES
1/2 CUP EXTRA-VIRGIN OLIVE OIL, plus oil for drizzling
2 GARLIC CLOVES, thinly sliced
3 TABLESPOONS CHOPPED FRESH SAGE
FRESHLY GROUND PEPPER

Make the tomatoes:
Preheat the oven to 200 ° F. Core the tomatoes. Slice each tomato nearly in half lengthwise, taking care not to cut all the way through so the halves remain attached.

In a medium bowl, combine the tomatoes, parsley, extra-virgin olive oil, and salt to taste. Toss to coat. Arrange the tomatoes, cut side down, in a single layer on a rack setover a baking sheet.

Bake until the liquid is evaporated and the tomatoes are shriveled and reduced in size, but not completely dry, about 10 hours. Chop the tomatoes and set aside.

Beans:
In a stockpot, combine the beans and their soaking water, carrot, celery, and garlic head.

Put the sage sprigs and rosemary sprigs on a piece of cheesecloth, gather the corners, and tie the bundle securely. Add to the pot.

Add more cold water if needed to cover the beans by at least 1 inch. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat and cook,partially covered, until the beans are nearly soft, about 1 hour. Season with salt and continue cooking the beans until tender, about 30 minutes.

Allow the beans to cool in their broth. Remove and discard the vegetables, garlic head, and cheesecloth bundle. Drain the beans, reserving the broth.

In a small, heavy skillet over medium-high heat, warm the safflower oil until it is shimmering. Add the sage leaves, 4 at a time, and fry until they are crisp but remain bright green, 10 to 15 seconds. Remove with tongs to a paper towel to drain.

In a large, heavy skillet over medium-low heat, warm the 1/2 cup olive oil. Add the sliced garlic and chopped sage, and sauté until aromatic.

Add the chopped tomatoes and cook just until they begin to break down, 3 to 5 minutes.

Add the cooked beans to the skillet along with 1 cup of the reserved broth. Continue cooking until the liquid has reduced and leaves a glossy shine on the beans.

Season to taste with salt and pepper and drizzle generously with olive oil.

Transfer the beans to a serving dish and top with the fried sage leaves.