Beans and greens are popular in the southern U.S., but did you know they are eaten all the time in the Mediterranean?  Mediterranean Diet recipes with greens and beans are cooked in extra virgin olive oil and are usually vegan.

You’re definitely going to want to use a lot of extra virgin olive oil for this dish because that’s where most of the flavor comes from.  You can use whatever greens are available to you. I recommend swiss chard, collard greens, spinach, or dandelion greens, but any greens will work.

In the Mediterranean, they use the greens that are in season. A very recent study just found that eating greens daily slows cognitive decline considerably. It’s well known that dark leafy greens are very healthy for you, but this is more proof to eat them daily. I love this dish because it’s filling and satisfying.

This dish is delicious served with almost any kind of salad.  I love it with a Greek Salad.  It is also a great side to most fish dishes or soups such as Chicken Leek Soup with White Wine.

Mediterranean Diet Recipes: Beans and Greens with Polenta

Beans and Greens over Polenta

George Zikos
4.80 from 5 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 443 kcal


  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup chopped dill
  • 1 bunch swiss chard, washed and chopped
  • 2 cans black eyed peas, drained
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  • 4 cups water or vegetable broth
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup soy, almond or regular milk
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  • For the Beans and Greens
  • Saute the onion in the olive oil on medium heat in a pot or deep saute pan.
  • When the onion starts to sweat, about 2 minutes, add the parsley and dill. Saute for 2 minutes.
  • Add the swiss chard and cook for 2 minutes. just to slightly wilt it.
  • Add the beans, tomato paste, lemon juice, and seasoning. Simmer for 30 mins.
  • For the Polenta
  • Bring the water to a boil in a small pot.
  • Pour the cornmeal in and lower the heat to medium low.
  • Cook the polenta for 15 mins stirring frequently to prevent sticking and burning the bottom of the pan.
  • At this point the polenta should be thick. Before removing from the heat, add milk, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper, and stir well.
  • Top the polenta with a spoonful of beans and greens and enjoy!


Calories: 443kcalCarbohydrates: 32gProtein: 8gFat: 32gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 23gSodium: 578mgPotassium: 469mgFiber: 7gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 3156IUVitamin C: 22mgCalcium: 60mgIron: 4mg
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About the Author: George Zikos
George studied International Business in Greece in 2015 for three semesters. His family is from the island of Crete, and he lived with them for a whole summer. During that time, he started working for Mediterranean Living and contributing his firsthand experiences of the traditional Cretan diet. He learned fluent Greek along the way, being fully immersed in a traditional Cretan village. He is since graduated with a business degree from Worcester State University. George loves language and traveling, so he completed a TEFL certificate program at the Boston Language Institute in order to teach English abroad and travel the world. He currently works full-time blogging, recipe formulating, and social media marketing for Mediterranean Living. His passions include language, gardening, hiking, skateboarding, and watching sports. He dreams of living in Crete one day, after he travels the world learning as many languages and cultures as possible.
Mediterranean Living

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