It’s been all flageolet beans, all the time, around here lately, but that’s what happens when you cook up a pound at once and then keep finding new ways to enjoy their deliciousness. This recipe is quite simple, uses basic pantry staples, and is a great way to use the tag ends of frozen kale or other leafy greens that have been cluttering up the freezer. I’m sure that this is tastiest with home-cooked beans, but what with all the layers of flavor from spicy greens, sauteed onions, balsamic vinegar and rich chicken stock, you could get by with canned white beans in a pinch. Serve on top of crusty, toasted baguette slices and watch it disappear!
Adapted from Tuscan-Style Grilled Bruschetta in Your Organic Kitchen by Jesse Ziff Cool
Tuscan White Bean Bruschetta
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- about 8 cups mixed leafy greens (I used kale, turnip greens and baby spinach, but any spicy leafy green will do), washed well and spun dry, roughly chopped
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 tsp Kosher salt, divided, to taste
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper, divided, to taste
- 1/2 large red onion, diced
- 2 cups cooked white beans (I used flageolet, but any creamy white bean will do)
- 2 tsp dried oregano (or 4 tsp chopped fresh oregano)
- 1 cup vegetable or chicken stock
- 1 baguette, for crostini
- Heat about half of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and greens; sauté until greens are wilted and very tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer greens mixture to a bowl, add vinegar, salt and pepper to taste. (I used about 1/4 tsp of each here). Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Using the same skillet, heat the rest of the olive oil until hot but not shimmering; add onions and sauté over medium heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Add beans, broth and oregano and simmer over medium heat until broth thickens and limited liquid remains, about 10 minutes. Transfer bean mixture to a plate or large, flat bowl and lightly mash with a fork or potato masher (I like a chunky texture so I leave some of the beans intact). Stir well, taste, and add salt and pepper as necessary (I added the remaining 1/4 tsp of each here).
- Slice the baguette thinly. Spread bread pieces out onto a baking sheet and toast until crisp and just begining to color, about 5 minutes (if you wish, you may drizzle the bread with olive oil for a richer crostini). Remove from the oven and serve warm crostini with a layer of greens, then a layer of beans.
Serves 4 – 6.
- The greens and beans may be made ahead and held, separately, at room temperature prior to serving. Warm greens in a skillet, or in the microwave, prior to assembling crostini.
- Any mix of spicy, leafy greens will work: the original recipe called for mustard greens.
- It strikes me that a 1/2 cup of white wine wouldn’t be amiss in the bean broth; I may try that next time.
- Navy beans are available locally at Cayuga Pure Organics.
The beans and greens may be made up to 2 days in advance and stored, refrigerated, prior to use. Allow beans to come to room temperature, and re-heat greens before serving. Crostini are best on the day of toasting.
Winter into Spring.