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November 27, 2006

White Bean Crostini

I was going to call this post "Beans on Toast", but that really doesn't do this justice.

This recipe derived from a series of accidents and serendipities. I made the white bean mixture initially as a stuffing for some piquillo peppers. It was okay as a stuffing for piquillo peppers, but I ended up with way more stuffing than I needed for peppers. I also had some nice Italian bread that needed using. My initial idea was to toast a few bread slices under the broiler and top them with some mashed-up white bean mixture.

I turned on the broiler and a minute later, smoke started wafting out of the oven, and the smoke alarm went off.

I think that after our most recent baking adventures, the oven is simply in need of a good cleaning. At any rate, I have vowed not to use it again until I've had a chance to give it a good cleaning.

So, what to do with my slices of bread? I brushed them with a little olive oil, and toasted them in a dry skillet. Then I piled the white bean mixture on top, added a generous grating of fresh pepper, and topped with a few bits of diced fresh tomato.

It was really good - far better than it had been as a stuffing for peppers. The bread was crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside and contrasted wonderfully with the softness of the beans.

Read on for the recipe...

The Ingredients

  • 1 15 oz. can white beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. Spanish smoked paprika
  • a few sundried tomatoes, chopped fine (these are optional - I don't actually think they added that much to the final product)
  • Approximately 1 tbsp. sherry vinegar
  • olive oil to taste and for brushing bread slices
  • 4 medium-sized slices Italian or French bread. (This is almost certainly one of the cases where it pays to get good bread.)
  • 1 medium-sized tomato, chopped
  • freshly-ground black pepper

The Steps

  1. In a small bowl, combine the white beans, garlic, paprika, sundried tomatoes (if using), sherry vinegar and olive oil. Taste and add more garlic, paprika, vinegar, or oil as needed.
  2. Coarsely mash the bean mixture with a fork.
  3. Heat a skilled over medium-high heat. Brush each slice of bread with olive oil on both sides, and toast in the skillet until it is lightly charred on both sides. (1 minute per side or so.)
  4. Top each slice with some of the bean mixture, some freshly grated pepper, and some chopped tomato. Serve immediately.

Serves 4 as an appetizer, or two as a main course (accompanied by a green salad).

Posted by spaceling at November 27, 2006 08:57 PM

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