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French Beans With Crispy Bacon

ingredients

8 oz (250 g) French beans
16 rashers smoked streaky bacon
scant 1 oz (20 g) butter
salt and pepper

serve with:

omelettes or vegetable pancakes

method

1. Heat plenty of lightly salted water in a large saucepan.

2. Preheat the oven to 325°F (170°C) mark 3.

3. Top and tail the beans, rinse well and boil, uncovered, for 12 - 15 minutes or until they are tender but still crisp. Drain and leave to cool a little. Grease a wide, shallow ovenproof dish with a little butter.
4. Divide the beans into 8 equal bundles and wrap 2 bacon rashers round each one (do not have the rashers overlapping one another or they will not crisp well).

5. Place these bundles neatly in the dish, dot small flakes of butter here and there over the beans where they are not covered by the bacon and bake in the oven for 10 minutes, or until the bacon is crisp.

6. Serve piping hot, allowing 2 bundles per person.

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