Slow Cooker Ribollita
Here it is, by popular request! A wonderfully hearty, slow cooker version of ribollita, the famous Tuscan stew made with bean, vegetables, dark greens, and day-old bread. You can start it in the morning, and let it cook over the next 6-8 hours. Just look at the ingredient list, there’s nothing fancy here, and that’s part of what I love about this sort of food.
Ribollita means "reboiled" in Italian – it’s a soup that was cooked in order to use up leftovers and straggler ingredients. In that spirit, please use this recipe as a jumping off point. If you have sweet potatoes instead of carrots, use those. A yellow onion instead of red? That’s fine. It’s completely a-ok to riff on the general concept here, and chances are, you’ll end up with a substantial pot of goodness.
And lastly! One of the things I’m particular about when using a slow cooker is the order in which I add ingredients. There are often times I’ll hold an ingredient back until the very end. In many cases this is to maintain as much of the brightness and clarity of flavor as possible. Or, it could be a textural thing. In this ribollita, for example, I like to hold back the tomatoes, kale, bread, and lemon zest until the final hour. You end up with a more vibrant stew for the initial serving. And then, for the leftovers, a nice melding of flavors happens overnight. So, in this case, I’m going for melding, and trying to avoid any overcooked flavors and textures. Hope that makes sense!