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.

As cooked by someone else

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.


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