Cannellini Bean Bacon Spinach Salad came from the question “What the Forks for Dinner?” I really wasn’t sure??
We were down to the skinnies for groceries, but we did need dinner. Let me just say, if you have bacon, and a can of beans…… you can make dinner.
First off, there is quite possibly nothing that bacon can’t make taste like a million bucks. Second, beans and bacon make a perfect pair. Lucky me I had both of those things.
Bacon and vinegar are a classic combo for spinach. Hot bacon grease, sugar, and vinegar in a skillet turns into a sweet, smoky, salty dressing that turns plain spinach into the perfect salad.
To have a spinach salad for dinner is fine, but I needed a bit more…. some protein would be good. Ta-Da….I had beans….cannellini beans.
Slightly kidney-shaped, cannellini beans are from Italy and are creamy white in color. Once cooked, they have a fluffy texture and a slightly nutty, mild flavor. Plus they are loaded with protein and fiber, low in calories, and inexpensive ……. in other words perfect!
So, I know what your are thinking, beans….healthy…..bacon…..not so much. It’s all about balance…..and in this case necessity. I was working with Mother Hubbard’s cupboard.
When cooking bacon for a recipe, I find it much easier to cut the bacon, then fry it, no muss, no fuss. For this recipes I added, onions, garlic, a pinch of red pepper for flavor. Rosemary is a nice flavor fro the beans, and I had a few sprig to use. I threw in the beans with apple cider vinegar, and sugar, brought it to a boil and it made a delicious, creamy dressing for a nice bed of spinach.
A sprinkle of parmesan and a touch of parsley(if desired) and you have a delicious, hearty dinner salad.
For Tim and I, we always have leftovers from recipes, and this was easy to make for a lunch the next day. It just needs to be reheated and it’s just as tasty as it was when I first made it.
So, if the cupboard is bare…….Cannellini Bean Bacon Spinach Salad is there!
- 3 slices applewood smoked bacon, diced
- 2 cloves, large garlic cloves, minced 1/4 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes 1 medium onion, halved and sliced 1 -8 oz package baby spinach (6 cups)
- 2-15 oz canned cannellini beans, rinsed and drained 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- ⅓ cup apple cider vinegar
- Parmesan cheese
- Parsley, chopped for garnish
- In a large, skillet over medium heat; add bacon and cook until bacon is begins to crisp.
- Add onions,garlic, sugar, and red pepper flakes to bacon in skillet; cook, stirring, occasionally, until onions begin to soften, about 10 minutes. Add beans,rosemary,vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste,increase heat to medium high and boil to thickened the sauce slightly and heat the beans.
- To serve place spinach on plate and top with bean, bacon mixture. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and garnish with parsley.