cannellini beans with bacon & greens

4:11 AM

I decided that the next couple of recipes on my blog would be from my newest cookbook, Laura Vitale's Laura in the Kitchen.  To buy the cookbook, click here or visit your nearest bookstore to see if they have it in stock! My Barnes and Noble had it, and I was happy to see it featured!  I am loving the recipes so far; I really really recommend getting this cookbook, especially if you are looking for one that has simple Italian recipes.

This particular recipe is an incredibly simple one, perfect for another weeknight sort of meal.  The beans are a great substitute for a starchy side dish, such as rice or pasta.  I did modify this dish, so if you want to see the original recipe, you definitely should check her cookbook out.  Anyway, without further adieu, I give you Cannellini Beans with Bacon and Greens (recipe adapted from Laura Vitale's Cannellini Beans with Pancetta and Spinach).

2 tbsp olive oil
4 oz bacon, cut into 1/2-inch dice
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 (15-oz) cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
6 cups mixed spring greens, including spinach
1/4 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper

First, I heated up the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Once the the oil was heated through, I added the bacon.  The original recipe called for either bacon or pancetta, but I was on a budget this week and decided to use bacon, the cheaper alternative.  

Once the bacon got crispy, which took about 5 minutes, I added in the garlic.  I cooked the garlic for about one minute; be careful not to burn your garlic!  

Once the garlic is lightly browned, I added in all of the beans.  MAKE SURE TO DRAIN AND RINSE THEM.  I cooked them for a few minutes until they were heated through.

Once the beans were heated through, I added in the greens, salt, and black pepper.  I used a mixture of spinach and spring greens that I found at my supermarket.  Use whatever fresh greens you like!  I think the mixture of greens went really well with the saltiness of the bacon.

Once the greens are wilted, your dish is done!

This recipe was so surprisingly flavorful and was a great side dish to my pan-fried swai (a type of mild white fish)! The light fish paired really well with the tasty beans and the crunch of the bacon.  I also loved the freshness of the wilted greens; when making this dish, I think I'll continue to use the mixture of greens rather than just all spinach.  This dish really goes with anything, from beef to seafood.  I totally recommend trying this out! If you love garlic and bacon, these beans will hit the spot!

Stay tuned for my next kitchen discovery:  SALMON WITH BACON SAUTE!

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