A Lot of Beans?

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Ingredients (Serves 6)

2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 oz pancetta, in 1/8” dice (or half that amount of bacon if you can’t find pancetta)
3 garlic cloves, peeled and lightly crushed
1 Tbsp coarsely chopped fresh rosemary
2 cups cooked white beans, at room temperature or warmer
pinch sea salt
pinch chile flakes (try Aleppo Chile Flakes)
splash white wine vinegar (use something decent, like our Reims vinegar from A l’Olivier)
6 slices rustic white bread, 1” thick
coarse sea salt
chile flakes
extra virgin olive oil
flat-leaf parsley, chopped

Put a skillet over medium heat, and when hot, add the oil, pancetta and garlic. Cook, stirring, until the pancetta starts to render its fat and the garlic starts to colour. Stir in the rosemary and continue to cook until fragrant and the garlic is golden. Remove the garlic and set aside. Add the beans, and stir/mash with a wooden spoon until well mixed and some of the beans are just mashed enough to hold the whole thing together. (Turn off the heat as soon as the beans are warm, but not hot.) Season to taste with salt, chile flakes, a splash of vinegar, and as much or little of the reserved garlic, minced, as you like.

Grill or toast the bread and spoon the beans on top. Finish with salt, a few additional chile flakes, parsley, and a small drizzle of good olive oil.

To transform this into an equally splendid Spanish version (the Spanish being equally renowned bean-eaters) use a bit of smoked paprika and sherry vinegar.

Recipe Copyright © 2013, Don Dickson / South China Seas Trading Co. Limited


Ingredients available at South China Seas:
extra virgin olive oilwhite beans | sea saltchile flakeswhite wine vinegar.