Monday, April 13, 2009

Rocket Beans - Soaring into the Side Dish Stratosphere

Over the last few years, Arugula has gone from rare and exotic, to common and mainstream. Bags of baby arugula line almost every lettuce case in the country, and it appears on restaurant menus with such frequency one could make the case it's over-used.

Another, infinitely cooler, name for arugula is Rocket. My sources deep within the European foodie subculture report that this is the term most commonly used. That's where this lovely, and extremely easy bean side dish gets its name.

While rocket is a wonderful green for salads, I really enjoy using it as an herb in hot dishes like this one. The secret is a very, very brief cooking so it keeps its fresh spicy flavor, and bright color.

This makes a great side dish for so many main courses, and in the video you'll see it next to a maple-brined pork loin that I'll be airing soon. By the way, don't let the bacon fat in this recipe scare you. Believe me, it's way more afraid of you than you are of it. Enjoy!

4 strips bacon, sliced
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
15 oz jar or can butter beans, drained and rinsed
3 cloves garlic, minced
large handful arugula, chopped
1/2 lemon, juiced


Anonymous said...


Guat said...

hey chef in Brasil we really like rocket with sun dried tomatos sometimes in a pizza or as a salad very nice also with some blue cheese try it hope you like it

from a brazilian fan :P

Anonymous said...

i really like saying.. uhrooguhla rocket seems weird... lol

Susanna said...

Bacon will make even weeds and dandelions taste good I'm sure.

CollegeGourmet said...

Rocket beans: the name's more than just a nod to the ingredients. I think it's official that bacon is the most versatile, not to mention delicious, food ever.

Aaron De La Torre said...

Looks great Chef. Will have to give this a try.

Here in Australia it is always called rocket. Never heard of the other name for it... Sounds like one of those flaxon horns... (ARROOOOOOGGGAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!)



Asian Malaysian said...

Looks great, Chef John. Is there any substitute for the butterbeans though? Not sure I can find tem in Malaysia.

Chef John said...

this is great with any beans

granny said...

Oh my, this looks great and a no-brainer to put together. Love legumes at my house and it will be a nice change from the escarole and garlic I usually fix with beans.

Hillary said...

I'm always on the look out for new side dishes other than the ordinary roasted potatoes and steamed veggies. Thanks!

Birder said...

This is my favourite kind of Chef John recipe: one even I can pull off! Thanks. I'm definitely trying this one.

temptressyarn said...

Both this and the pork look easy and great! I am definitely going to try this as soon as my own garden arrugula gets going, which should be any day now if this Northeast weather ever heats up. I may just throw in a few dandelion greens as well. Yum!

joanie said...

Chef John,

Extremely tasty. Thanks for introducing me to "rocket". This will be in regular rotation on my menues! I found the first batch I made was gritty. The second time, instead of just rinsing it, I soaked the arugula in a big bowl of water to let the grit sink to the bottom. I found the butter beans too big and they got mushy. Preferred them with canellini beans.

Unknown said...

I've been making this two to three times a week and am still not tired of them. My brother and I were talking about red beans and rice and I had the bright idea of adding a cup of rice with the beans and it worked! Rocket beans and rice, try it.