By J.M. HIRSCH
No time for potato or pasta salad? Or just looking to mix it up at your next cookout? This is your salad.
Just 20 minutes will get you an intensely flavored white bean salad studded with savory bacon, crunchy fennel and fresh corn, all tossed with tangy barbecue sauce. The result is a rich, but not heavy, salad that is the perfect partner for ribs, burgers, dogs, cobs or whatever you have on the grill.
It's also a versatile dish that can be dressed up multiple ways. Use it as a filling in flour tortillas for barbecue-flavored burritos. Spoon it over tortilla chips, sprinkle with cheese, then bake until heated through for hearty nachos.
To save more time, prepare the salad ahead and refrigerate for a day. Let it sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.
Barbecue Bacon and Bean Salad
1/2 pound bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 large yellow onion, diced
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 cup prepared barbecue sauce
1 (15-ounce) can corn kernels, drained (or kernels cut from about 4 ears)
2 (15-ounce) cans white beans, drained
1 medium bulb fennel, finely chopped
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon chopped chives
In a large saute pan over medium-high, cook the bacon for 4 minutes. Add the onion and continue cooking until the bacon is crispy and the onion tender. Remove the pan from the heat. If there is more than about 1 tablespoon of fat in the pan, drain most of it, leaving the bacon and onions in the pan. Stir in the smoked paprika and barbecue sauce. Transfer to a bowl and place in the freezer for 10 minutes to cool quickly.
In a large bowl, mix together the corn, beans and fennel. Mix in the cooled bacon mixture, tossing well. Sprinkle in the cider vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Garnish with chopped chives.
Makes 6 servings.
Nutritional information per serving: 415 calories (153 calories from fat), 17g fat (5g saturated, 0g trans fats), 43mg cholesterol, 39g carbohydrates, 24g protein, 8g fiber, 1,455mg sodium.
Source: Associated Press