Gigante Beans with Bacon

If  you happened to get some of the Fresh-cut Grass 2014 gignate beans in your Christmas basket, then you might be happy to see this recipe. The portion of beans may look skimpy at only 6 oz. in the package, but they will produce almost four cups of cooked beans!


6 oz.dried gigante beans
water to cover by 3″

1 oz. extra-virgin olive oil
2 oz. bacon, medium dice
1/2 oz. garlic, sliced thinly
1 dried chili (I use dried cayenne chilies. You can use as little or much as you like for heat)
4 oz. yellow onion, medium dice
2 oz. carrot, peeled, medium dice
2 oz. celery, medium dice
1-1/2 c. chicken broth (or use water, but add another slice of bacon for flavor)
1/2 t. salt


Rinse the beans under cold water to remove any chaff, then transfer to a bowl and cover with water by at least 2″. Allow to soak overnight at room temperature. They should more than double in volume as above.


Prepare the remaining ingredients as indicated, then heat the olive oil in a suitable pot over high heat. When the oil shimmers, add the bacon and reduce the heat to medium.


Cook, stirring occasionally, until the bacon renders and begins to color,


Then add the chili and garlic, and stir to combine.


When the garlic begins to sizzle and the aroma is pronounced, add the other vegetables.


Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions begin to become translucent.


Then drain the soaked beans, and add to the pot along with the chicken broth and salt.


Bring to a boil, then reduce to a very slow simmer, a couple of bubbles every few seconds. Cover and cook until the beans are tender, about one hour at a very low simmer.

Remove from the heat, remove the pieces of chili pod, and correct seasoning to taste. To night I will be serving the beans with braised baby octopus and lacinato kale.

Bon appetit!

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David Gingrass is a food and beverage operations professional with a career spanning more than three decades. His fascination with and love for food, wine and entertaining allows him to view his work as both a vocation and an avocation. Gingrass graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York then cooked in the Bay Area for two years before landing a job at Wolfgang Puck’s original Spago Restaurant in West Hollywood. There he learned to make the signature breads and sausages that he became known for at Postrio and Hawthorne Lane. He was soon promoted to kitchen manager and managed the operational and expense control aspects of Puck’s iconic restaurant for the next four years. Gingrass returned to San Francisco in 1989 when Puck tapped him and his then-wife Anne to open Postrio, Puck’s third restaurant and his first outside of Los Angeles. Postrio opened to rave reviews and soon became the #1 popular Bay Area restaurant in the prestigious Zagat survey. Five and a half years later, the opportunity to open a restaurant of his own presented itself. Hawthorne Lane opened in 1995 and was a San Francisco dining institution for over twelve years, catering to the likes of Julia Child, Jacques Pepin, Mayor Willie Brown, James Carville, President Clinton and First Lady Hilary Clinton. He closed Hawthorne Lane at the end of its fifteen-year lease in 2009 to build a consulting practice for the hospitality industry, sharing his wealth of culinary and operational experiences with new and existing restaurants, assisting them to become successful and profitable.