BBQ Baked Beans with Local Sausage & Collards

With temperatures around Richmond slowly dropping, warm, hearty meals are sounding better and better. It’s time to look to seasonal, local ingredients to make some of the best dishes of the season. And there’s nothing that fills the soul (and stomach) like a big, slow cooked pot of baked beans. With this recipe, we’re going to fill it with delicious, locally-grown, USDA certified organic collards from Amy’s Garden as well as locally-made Sausage Craft sausage for a home-cooked meal that’s literally close to home.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup prepared barbecue sauce
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons organic tomato paste
1 tablespoon molasses
1/8 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 medium organic yellow onion, chopped
4 cups Amy’s Organic chopped collard greens (about 10 ounces), tough stems removed
9 ounces cooked Sausage Craft sausage links (about 3 links), halved lengthwise and sliced
2 15-ounce cans great northern or navy beans, rinsed

Instructions:

1. Whisk barbecue sauce, water, tomato paste, molasses, salt and pepper in a medium bowl.

2. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and collard greens and cook, stirring occasionally, until the collards are wilted, 3 to 5 minutes. Add sausage and cook, stirring, until beginning to brown, about 3 minutes more.

3. Reduce heat to medium-low; add beans and the sauce mixture to the pan. Gently stir to combine, cover and cook until heated through, about 3 minutes.

Shopping tip: Check the sodium of your favorite barbecue sauce–some can be quite high. This recipe was developed with a sauce containing 240 mg sodium per 2-tablespoon serving.

Note: While we love the convenience of canned beans, they tend to be high in sodium. Give them a good rinse before adding to a recipe to rid them of some of their sodium (up to 35 percent) or opt for low-sodium or no-salt-added varieties. (These recipes are analyzed with rinsed, regular canned beans.) Or, if you have the time, cook your own beans from scratch.