Spreading love with the help of broad beans and bacon
Sometimes the simplest pleasures are the best. I sent out a simple tweet yesterday morning asking for inspiration regarding what to do with two of the ingredients in my fridge: broad beans and bacon.
The results ranged from ‘just eat them’ to a range of meal options. One of them tickled my fancy, both for it’s simplicity and it’s rusticity (pretty sure I just made that word up).
I have to doff my cap to my Twitter follower Claire Nelson for coming up with a Spanish peasant dish that hit the spot.
Habas con Jamon couldn’t be simpler. It’s name means ‘Broad Beans and Ham’ and that’s pretty much what it is. I decided that is do a British take on it. This pretty much amounted to using bacon instead of the Serrano ham you are meant to use.
I used 500g of broad beans still in their pods, which was just enough for one person for a smallish supper. I would suggest for two people using 2kg (4.4lb) if really hungry. I also used three rashers of bacon, so double for two people. The other ingredients were a leek and two cloves of garlic, plus seasoning. The original recipe uses onions instead of leeks, so feel free to do so – I don’t eat onions. Best to allow four cloves or garlic for two people as well.
Sweat the leek/onions and garlic untill soft but not coloured in a deep pan. Add the bacon, which has been cut into small pieces (lardons) and fry until cooked. Then add the beans. Let them stir fry for a couple of minutes then turn the heat right down to a whimper, add a little hot water and put the lid on the pan. Steam until the beans are soft – say 15 minutes or so. Season and enjoy with some crusty bread and a glass of vino – despite the bacon I reckon you can get away with a cold glass of white here.
The best thing about this meal was not just in the eating. It was in the spreading of the love. After eating it I tweeted about how much I had enjoyed it and it inspired another follower, David at Manna from Devon, to have it as well, as I’d reminded him of Iberian walking holidays.
I hope I have inspired you to do the same with this easy dish after reading this. One last thing before you rush off to buy broad beans – please use good bacon, cheap wet supermarket rubbish wouldn’t do this dish justice.