I wasn’t going to post this recipe. This was supposed to be a super simple, healthy weeknight dinner. Not interesting enough to deserve a whole post. But then I tasted it and knew I had to share. These beans are deceptively easy and mind-blowingly delicious. There’s something hearty and earthy about the combination of beans and smoky, salty, crisp-like-bacon prosciutto. Add a little fresh sage, Pecorino and fancy olive oil and you’ve got a quick and tasty dinner.
I used Rancho Gordo’s Black Calypso beans and grabbed the recipe idea from their site. You can substitute dried Anasazi beans, or even canned great northern beans if you’re not up to cooking dried beans. Either way, these beans are definitely worth a try.
And now it’s time for some shameless self-promotion. As you know, the Ile de France cheese company, sent me some goat cheese to blog about awhile back and I submitted my tartlets to their recipe contest. Well, it’s time to vote! Help a girl out and head on over to the contest page.
Beans with Crispy Prosciutto, Sage, Pecorino & Olive Oil
1 lb. dried Black Calypso (or Anasazi) beans
(Or two 15 oz. cans Great Northern Beans, drained and rinsed)
6 cups (more or less) water (if using dried beans)
5 dried chile de arbol peppers (if using dried beans)
1 tbsp. coarse salt (if using dried beans)
10 slices prosciutto
20 sage leaves, thinly sliced
2 oz. Pecorino cheese, grated
6 tbsp. good-quality olive oil
Cook the beans (if using canned beans, skip to the next paragraph). Soak them overnight in the water, then add the chile de arbol peppers and bring to a low simmer for 2 – 3 hours, or until the beans are tender. Pick out the chile de arbol peppers and stir in the salt.
While the beans are cooking, crisp your prosciutto. Lay the slices out on a piece of parchment paper and place them under the broiler for 5 – 8 minutes, or until the prosciutto crisps to the consistency of bacon. I like mine almost-burnt, but make sure you watch them closely or they’ll get too burnt and smoky. Remove from oven, let cool, then use your hands or kitchen scissors to crumble into bite-sized pieces.
Serve the beans in bowls and top with the crumbled prosciutto, a big pinch of sage leaves, a big pinch of pecorino and a good drizzle of olive oil.
Makes 6 servings.