Beans and bacon

Very simple to make and so tasty.  Makes a great lunch on its own or as a side dish for a heartier meal, for example in place of potatoes with roast meat.  Add some good, homemade stock and you have a great bean soup.  I love the simplicity of this dish, but you can experiment with different herbs and spices to find your own special bean dish.

-= Ingredients =-
4 cup Beans ; cooked
6 slices Bacon ; cut into bits
1 medium Onion ; chopped finely
1 Red chili ; sliced finely
1 clove Garlic ; chopped finely
2 tablespoon Extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoon Parsley ; chopped finely
2 tablespoon Parmesan ; grated
salt and pepper ; to taste

-= Instructions =-
You can use as little or as much chili and garlic as you like.  I use a clove of garlic and a whole chili for just one portion, but I love both.  Chili and garlic are supposed to increase metabolism and curb hunger.  I don’t know, I just love them!

However, it is very important to use dried beans.  Making your own beans (as opposed to using a tin) vastly improves the taste and home-made is more nutritious and will contain less salt. You can use small white beans, Navy beans, cranberry beans (borlotti), cannellini beans, etc.

It is also important to use the best quality olive oil you can get your hands on.  This dish is so simple that all the ingredients need to be top quality.  There is nothing in this dish to mask the poor quality of any single ingredient.  Freshly grated parmesan is an absolute must.

Soak and cook the beans according to the package instructions.  Do not overcook, the beans should be soft but when you bite into a bean, it should offer a bit of resistance.

Gently brown the bacon.  When it is almost done, add the onion, chili and garlic and sauté until the onion is soft and lightly colored.  I do this on a fairly low heat to retain the sweetness of the onion.  Add the remaining ingredients. except the parmesan, and serve as soon as the beans are heated through with a sprinkling of parmesan on the top.


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