This morning, I received an e-mail from a reader named Jeanne who wondered if I have any ideas for flavoring a pot of white beans without using ham hocks, bacon, or other fattening products.
I admit that while I’m a big fan of the smoky flavor of pork in just about any legume (blame Grandma and those Southern roots), it can be hard to justify if you’re watching your health.
According to Saveur, the founder of heirloom bean company Rancho Gordo, Steve Sando, says “Beans shouldn’t need to be cooked with a ham hock to taste good.”
True, but they need to be cooked with something, don’t they? Who wants to eat a plain old salted bean?
Here are a couple of suggestions for Jeanne: