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Bean Salad with Pancetta

October 6, 2010 • 23 Comments

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Bean Salad with Pancetta

- Amanda

Last week, I had big plans to write a post about a bean salad I had at Franny's. But then I overcooked the beans for the photo shoot and forgot to add the crucial ingredient -- pancetta. To make matters worse, I missed my own deadline because I went to a party, drank too much Scotch (someone's watching too much Mad Men), and forgot to write my post. Where is my Peggy when I need her?!

A week has passed. This time I got the beans right, and the pancetta just where I wanted it. And now, tail between my legs, I deliver to you last week's blog recipe, a new kind of bean salad -- one that's slicked with garlicky oil, kissed with vinegar, and crowned with a crisp pancetta chip. Use whatever kind of beans you like -- here, I went for borlotti, cannellini, green kidneys and controne. There's no soaking needed, not to mention very little effort. Just start the day before and do laundry while you simmer the beans (don't let them boil!). Then serve the beans however you like: as a lunch salad or a dinner party side dish. I like them at room temperature.

Beans

 

Bean Salad with Pancetta

Inspired by a salad at Franny's in Brooklyn

Serves 4

  • 1/4 cup each 4 kinds of beans
  • 5 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 4 small carrots, peeled and cut into 4 pieces
  • 12 sprigs thyme
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for serving
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Splashes sherry or red wine vinegar
  • 8 very thin slices pancetta

1. Place each type of dried bean in a separate saucepan (yes, this is the only annoying part of the recipe; if you'd prefer to do them together, time them according to size, adding the largest beans first and add the rest progressively so that they all finish cooking at once -- good luck!). Cover with at least 3 inches of water. Add 1 carrot (in pieces), 1 garlic clove and 2 sprigs thyme to each pan.

2. Bring to a gentle simmer -- the water should burp rather than bubble. Cook the beans until just tender but not at all mushy, 1 to 2 hours, depending on the size of the bean. Drain, rinse under cool water, and let cool. Discard the carrot, garlic and thyme.

3. Mince the remaining garlic clove. In a large saucepan, briefly warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the beans and cook for 1 minute, just to slightly warm the beans and disperse the garlic oil. Season with salt and pepper. Strip the leaves from the remaining thyme sprigs and add them to the beans. Add vinegar to taste -- it should sharpen the flavors but nothing more. Taste and adjust the salt -- yes, again!

4. Heat the broiler. Arrange the pancetta on a baking sheet. Broil until crisp.

5. Spoon the bean salad onto a wide, shallow serving dish. Top with the pancetta and sprinkle with a little more olive oil.

 

Comments (23)

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Dscn2212

over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Oh, oh, oh! I think I'm going to make this in a warm version for fall, adding some nice chicken stock, and maybe serve over a hefty slice of grilled bread. Wow! Thank you!

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

over 3 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Hope you enjoy it.

Dscn2212

about 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Oh I have - several times! Thank you!

Dsc00426

over 3 years ago vvvanessa

i saw the picture on the homepage, and my first thought was, "franny's makes a salad just like that!" it's one of my favorites and so simple-- classic franny's.

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

over 3 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Love all of their side dishes/salads. Always hit the mark.

Lobster_001

over 3 years ago nannydeb

My husband always accuses me of dirtying too many dishes, pots and pans, so this makes me feel better knowing I'm not the only one!

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

over 3 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

As am I glad to have your company.

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over 3 years ago LittleFrier

Forgive me for being inept. But, I'm not sure how to save the excellent recipes, such as this, to my recipe box when they are part of a blog. Normally, there is a save to recipe feature on recipes that I look up, etc. Am I just missing it? Please advise on how to save this recipe to my recipe box. Thanks for your help.

Avatar-460-white

over 3 years ago Food52

This is from your friendly editors at Food52.

Not inept at all! Soon we'll add this recipe to our searchable recipe database, where you can save the recipe and open it in a printer-friendly format. For now, it's just living in this (slightly less functional) blog post.

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over 3 years ago LittleFrier

Thanks so much. By the way....love the website....definitely a fav!

Lnd_jen

over 3 years ago lastnightsdinner

"burp rather than bubble" - I love it :)

Dsc_0048b

over 3 years ago healthierkitchen

Ok - yum! And I will keep my beans at a simmer.

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

over 3 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

I'll be watching over your shoulder.

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over 3 years ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I never drink to much. Or overcook my beans. So I feel safe trying this recipe! OK - time to go feed my unicorn!!!

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

over 3 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

lol.

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over 3 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Amanda, I can't tell you how happy it makes me to know that even you sometimes overcook beans. (No need for tail between your legs--we've all done it. Right, people?) Great recipe! Thanks!

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

over 3 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

I'm also (as is Merrill) great at burning toast. Which is why our company name is Burnt Toast.

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over 3 years ago thirschfeld

Are green kidney beans the same as flagolets? Just curious I have never seen green kidney beans. BTW, I have never drank to much but I have been grossly over served many times.

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

over 3 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

I think they are, although come to think of it, they were a little smaller than flageolets that I've cooked previously. Yes, totally understand your complaint with bartenders/hosts....

Birthday_2012

over 3 years ago luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

Where do you get your beans? I don't know that I can do the four separate saucepans, but otherwise this looks like a great recipe. Usually I use canned beans for speed, but I can see that this recipe would not work-- relies on excellent flavor and texture of the beans. Hmmm... maybe that's why it's important to use the four separate saucepans. Now it's a Saturday or Sunday afternoon recipe.
My daughter is trying to convince me that I can wait til Christmas for the New York Times Cookbook. I don't want to put you in the middle, but I feel that it's an emergency and the print run may sell out before Christmas.

Dsc00426

over 3 years ago vvvanessa

bklyn larder on flatbush and bergen has controne and borlotti beans. i also like the specialty/heirloom beans at the fairway and zabar's.

Birthday_2012

over 3 years ago luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

thanks, headed to the fairway or zabar's this aft. will plan pilgrimage to brooklyn in future.

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

over 3 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Definitely an emergency situation. :)