Bean and Bacon Salad with White Balsamico and Lemon Thyme
by eat in my kitchen
There is something really satisfying about deglazing tiny, crunchy cubes of bacon with sweet Balsamico vinegar. Be it the white or the dark one, both coming from Modena, this vinegar merges with the oily bacon juices to a thick, sweet and sour syrup. It is very concentrated, a great dressing to glaze hearty and crunchy salads like beans and cabbage. A few spoons enrich the vegetables with the whole range of the vinegar’s aroma together with the meat’s smoky saltiness.
I like to use this dressing for my traditional Bavarian cabbage salad as it brings out a sweet smoothness in the strong cabbage. Today it refines my fava beans, crunchy and green, cooked in salted water for around 6 minutes until they were al dente and rinsed with cold water. I peeled the beans out of their transparent shells for this salad and added some lemon thyme, salt and pepper.
As always, there is lots of peeling involved when there are fava beans on the table, I had 130g / 4.5 ounces of peeled beans after I started with 700g / 1.5 pounds of the fleshy pods. It was enough for the 2 of us as a side dish. I fried 30g / 1 ounce of bacon cut into tiny cubes in a little olive oil for a few minutes until they were golden brown and crisp before I deglazed it with 25ml / 1 ounces of white Balamico vinegar. I scraped the bits and pieces off the bottom of the pan and poured the syrup and bacon over the beans immediately. It just needed a little salt as the bacon added quite a bit of saltiness to it, some ground black pepper and a few fresh leaves of my lemon thyme on top and the salad was done!