Beans are so versatile that I try to keep a reasonable stash of a few types on hand. In addition to their versatility, beans have a lot of fiber (usually ranging from 9-13 grams per cup), complex carbohydrates, folate, iron, and other vitamins and minerals. Not only do beans have all those benefits, but you can usually get them for around a dollar a pound. Not too many other cheap sources of protein can fill you up as cheaply, healthily, and easily. Thus, I decided to make an easy bean dish, cooking beans and then flavoring them with rosemary, bacon, and a bit of tomato, sweetening with some honey (or molasses) and throwing in a bit of spice. Sage could also be a good substitute for the rosemary. As a helpful hint, you want to have the beans mostly, if not completely cooked before adding sugars or calcium as those will prevent the beans from softening up as easily. You can still get them soft, but it will take much longer. That's also the reason the tomato, onion, and honey were added close to the end. The natural sugars from the tomato and onion will slow the softening process, as will molasses, which contains both sugar and calcium!
|1 pound||dry beans||I used kidney beans.|
|6 strips||bacon or pancetta, chopped||Or bacon bits|
|1||medium onion, chopped|
|1 tablespoon||fresh rosemary, torn or chopped|
|chili pepper flakes||optional|
|2 tablespoons||honey||or molasses|
|1/4 cup||tomato paste|
|1/4 cup||parsley, dried|
- Soak the beans overnight or boil the beans, turn off the heat and soak for one hour with lid on.
- Simmer the beans until the beans are just soft enough to eat, or you can use a pressure cooker to save time like I did.
- Cook bacon/pancetta until crispy. If you're using bacon bits, just put those into a pot and continue to the next step.
- Add chopped onions and cook until they begin to caramelize.
- Add garlic, chili flakes, and sage, and cook for a few minutes, then add tomato paste and honey or molasses, mixing well to create a homogeneous mixture. This process will create a thick paste. If you'd prefer something thinner, you could add some stock or water.
- Mix the paste into the beans until it is fairly uniformly distributed.