Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Grandpa's bean bread

In case you needed further evidence that the male humpback meatball's olive-sized brain stalls at an early stage of culinary development, well, here you go then.

This is stale bread. And hot water.

They tackle more challenging recipes than this in The Joint (I am told).

"Bean bread" is what my family calls this dish. And that about covers it. Cousin John tells me that our grandfather was a big fan and that he regularly allocated vast sums of "Italian bread" to be used strictly for its use.

Making a good bean bread doesn't exactly require a PhD (sorry, grandpa). First you take your stale bread or your frizelle or whatever similarly crunchy substance you find appealing and you slap it on a plate. Those beans you were boiling? What's that, you weren't boiling a pot of beans? Better get on that. Because after they're cooked you need to grab yourself a ladle, scoop out some of the cloudy-looking liquid that the beans were cooked in and then distribute it over the bread.

Am I going too fast for you? I know. It's complicated. Trust me, you'll do fine.

Anyway, after the bread is nice and moist you drizzle some olive on top, sprinkle a little salt and pepper, some herbs, even chopped garlic if you like. And that is pretty much that. (I had boiled some cannellini beans to be used in a couple different dishes. They cooked along with a pork bone, an onion, and the rind from a hunk of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.)

Next time you whip up a batch of beans, like for a soup or pasta e fagioli, give my grandpa's bean bread a try. It's as delicious and comforting as it is simple to prepare.

Any meatball can do it.


Velva said...

This looks awesome. In fact, I do have beans on the stove-Not too mention a loaf of bread machine bread that could use flavoring up inside a bowl covered in soup.

Thanks for sharing.


Anonymous said...

I love this - Its an old fashioned *eat what you have on hand* (yet nourishing and comforting) kind of meals that I should try to remember, rather than running to Hannaford all the time. I'm not Italian but believe in some other life I was or should have been. Thank you for sharing your family meals.


Claudia said...

You know... this looks pretty good!

Charlene Ann Baumbich said...

You reeled me in with that drizzle the olive oil part.