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BBT: Bacon, Beans, and Tomatoes

This recipe is a variation on a green bean recipe that my great grandmother would make with fresh green beans, home cured ham hock and homemade ketchup. I have never had great grandma’s version but for years my mother has been trying to recreate this wonderful dish with store bought ketchup and ham. She has made some really yummy green beans but she always says it not as good as she remembers.  I finally decided to try my own version of the dish. Since I neither make my own ketchup nor cure my own hams I decided to play on those flavors and make a rich and salty sauce with tomato paste, wine, and cheese.  This decadent side dish is a great accompaniment to a light main course like fish or roast chicken.  Don’t omit the cheese it really does give a nice richness that completes the dish.

4-6 strips of good bacon, chopped

1 small onion, chopped

6 cloves of garlic, diced

1 large handful of green beans cut to about 1.5 inch pieces

20-30 cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered based on size

½ cup white wine

4 tbsp tomato paste

Salt and pepper to taste

1/4-1/2 cup herbed soft cheese of your choice, like Boursin

In a large pan over medium high heat fry the bacon. When it’s crispy add the onion and garlic, let them soften for about 3-5 minutes. Then add green beans, I like mine crunchy so I let them cook until bright green and still firm.  If you like them softer let them cook longer.

Next add the tomato paste, use the good stuff in the tube, and white wine. Taste and adjust salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the tomatoes and let cook for 2-3 minutes.

Remove from heat put in serving bowl and dot the soft cheese on top.

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