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Green Beans with Bacon and Tart Cherry Balsamic Glaze

Bacon is good.  Bacon with tart cherry balsamic glaze is even better.  The nice thing about this dish is that once you pour this delicious glaze over a pile of healthy green beans, and you don’t even have to feel guilty about the bacon.

This is easy enough to be thrown together for a weeknight meal, but after you taste it you’ll want to serve it at a dinner party.  It might even find its way to your holiday table.  It’s that good.

If you’re not a fan of green beans, or if you tend to prefer meat with your bacon, try this glaze spooned over a grilled pork tenderloin – trust me, you’ll love it.

Green Beans with Tart Cherry Balsamic Glaze

3 slices bacon
1 small shallot, diced
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup dried tart cherries
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 pound green beans, trimmed and rinsed
kosher salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste

In a saute pan, cook the bacon until brown and crisp. Remove bacon and let drain on a paper towel then remove all but 1 tablespoon of bacon drippings from the pan. Add shallots to the pan and let cook over medium-low heat for a few minutes until softened and just starting to brown. Add chicken broth and stir up any brown bits left from the bacon. Add cherries and balsamic vinegar and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to low and let simmer, stirring occasionally until thick and syrupy, 15-20 minutes.

While glaze is reducing, steam green beans until crisp-tender. When glaze is reduced to a syrupy state, season to taste with salt and pepper. Add steamed green beans to pan with the glaze and toss until they are lightly coated. Remove green beans to a platter using tongs, then pour remaining glaze and cherries over the top of the beans. Crumble the bacon slices over the beans and serve.

Yield: 4 servings