Crisp-skinned duck breast on white beans with Dandelion Greens. Recipe (Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times / October 11, 2011)

Crisp-skinned duck breasts on white beans with dandelion greens

Total time: 1 hour, 20 minutes plus about 2 hours baking time for the beans

Servings: 6

Note: This can also be made without the duck breast by increasing the garlic sausage to 3/4 pound or more.

White beans

1/4 pound fresh garlic sausage, crumbled

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 carrot, diced

1 onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, chopped

1 pound dried white beans, such as cannellini or Great Northern

6 cups water, plus more if necessary

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste

Freshly ground black pepper

1 bunch dandelion greens (about 3/4 pound)

1 to 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Cook the sausage in olive oil in the bottom of a Dutch oven over medium heat on the stove top until the sausage has browned, about 7 minutes. Add the carrot and cook until it begins to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the onion and cook, stirring constantly to scrape up any browned sausage bits sticking to the bottom of the pan, until it begins to soften, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 3 minutes.

2. Add the dried beans, water and bay leaf. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Cover tightly and bake in the oven for 1 hour. Add the salt, stir, and continue cooking, covered, until the beans are tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour. The beans should be fairly dry, but if necessary, add more water, one-quarter cup at a time. Remove the bay leaf and discard. Season to taste with more salt if necessary, and freshly ground black pepper. (The dish can be prepared up to this point a day ahead and refrigerated, tightly covered.)