Cozy and comforting white beans cooked with rosemary and bacon for the perfect, filling meal. Eat with toast, rice, or as a side dish with your favorite meat and seafood dishes. So versatile!
- 1/2 lb white beans
- 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
- 4 cups water
- 1/4 lb bacon, chopped
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 sprigs rosemary
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 teaspoons red wine or sherry vinegar
- In a large bowl, cover 1/2 lb dried white beans with 4 cups water. Add 1/8 teaspoon baking soda and stir. Cover and let sit for at least 6 hours, or overnight.
- Add 1/4 lb chopped bacon and 2 tablespoons water to a large heavy pot (a dutch oven is great for this). Turn the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until bacon is crisp. This will likely take 10-12 minutes. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and set aside.
- Add 1 small diced onion to pan (the bacon grease should be enough, but if the pan looks dry add a little oil). Saute for 3-5 minutes, until softened and they just start to brown. Add 4 cloves minced garlic and 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes and cook for another minute.
- Add soaked beans and water (see note below!) and increase heat to medium-high. Bring to a boil and skim off some of the foamy parts that start to rise. You don't have to get it all, but I like to remove at least a couple of spoonfuls.
- Reduce heat to medium-low and add 2 tablespoons olive oil, 3 whole sprigs of rosemary, 1 bay leaf, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Stir and then cover and let simmer for 15 minutes.
- Remove lid and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, for another 30-45 minutes, or until you taste 5 beans and they are all completely creamy and cooked through. Remove rosemary sprigs and bay leaf.
- Remove from heat and add 2 teaspoons red wine or sherry vinegar. Top with reserved bacon and serve!
- Cooking bacon with water gets things started so you don't have to add any additional fat to the pan. The first part of the cooking will be the water cooking off, and then you'll start to see (and hear) the bacon crisp up. I learned this trick in this video!
- I like to use the water I soak beans in to cook as well, but I know many people are against this so you can absolutely drain the beans and then use 4 cups of fresh water when it comes time to cook them!
- The beans will soak up most of the liquid, but you do still want some in there for that amazing broth so don't drain the who pot. If you want the beans to be a little more on the dry side (if eating on top of toast, for example), just use a slotted spoon to serve. Store leftover beans in the liquid in the fridge.