I wound up scooping spoonfuls of the mixture onto slices of the Ciabatta. It was a messy job, but somebody had to do it. Seriously, even though warm tomato juices escaped through the holes, the textures and flavors played so perfectly together. You know how something is so good that you are confident you won't stop eating until every last morsel is gone? These beans baked with tomatoes, garlic, and bacon are just like that.
Though you may not be able to tell by the photos, the beans are beautifully creamy, and laced with the smokiness of bacon. Whole garlic cloves turn spreadable. Soft green sprigs of oregano whisper tales of the fertile earth from which they sprung. Bright tomatoes burst with a warmth that mimics the steamy summer evenings that currently envelop us.
Go ahead, take a humble bite of summer, this is peasant food at its finest.
Bean, Bacon, and Tomato Bake
A simple, rustic dish of juicy summer tomatoes and butter beans baked and flavored with bacon and garlic.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Keywords: bake entree side nut-free soy-free sugar-free beans bacon garlic tomatoes
Ingredients (serves 4)
- 4 ounces bacon, sliced into strips crosswise
- 12 cloves garlic, peeled
- 12 ounces cherry tomatoes (all one kind, or a variety)
- 6-8 sprigs fresh oregano
- 2 (15.5 ounce) cans Butter Beans, rinsed and drained
- 1/2 cup white wine (or chicken stock)
- sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- freshly shaved Parmesan cheese, optional
- 1 loaf of freshly baked Ciabatta (or your choice of bread)
Preheat oven to 400° F.
Scatter the bacon strips into the bottom of a medium baking dish with sides. Slide into preheated oven and bake until almost done, 10-12 minutes. Very carefully drain all but about a tablespoon of the bacon grease from the baking dish (reserve bacon grease for another use).
Redistribute the bacon evenly over the bottom of the baking dish. Scatter the garlic cloves over the bacon. Set the cherry tomatoes (with or without truss) into the pan, along with the oregano. Return to oven and bake for 30 minutes.
Add the beans and wine (or stock) to the dish, sprinkle with just a pinch of salt and give it a good grate of pepper. Slide back into the oven and bake for 10 minutes, or until the beans are heated through.
Remove from oven, give everything a stir. Shave some Parmesan cheese over the top, if you like, and serve with warm Ciabatta for scooping.
Kale ribbons would also be a nice addition to this dish. I would probably add them just before you add the beans.
-inspired by a recipe from Fresh and Light by Donna HayBacon Month Announcement post at any time.
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