Recipe: little cannellini bean toasts

So it appears it’s now January 4th, so I’m rather slow on the uptake here but happy new year! If you’re anything like me you’ll have now been stuffing yourself for about two weeks and may be in need of something a bit lighter (especially if you’ve been inhaling peanut butter jelly brownies) – this may be it.

It’s pretty much a few cupboard bits whizzed up and spread on toast – simple and delicious. I started with a tin of cannellini beans, olive oil, garlic, rosemary and a ciabatta loaf.

Put about 100ml olive oil into a pan on a low heat, and add 4 peeled cloves of garlic and a couple of sprigs of rosemary. Let it infuse for about 10 minutes until there are small bubbles at the edges but don’t let it boil – I have a real phobia of boiling oil, so take it off the heat when the small bubbles rise and leave it until you need it.

Put the cannellini beans into a food processor with salt and pepper, and pour in the infused oil bit by bit until it’s smooth and blended. Then cut the ciabatta diagonally into thin slices and place on a hot griddle until you have the charred lines that add flavour and make it look pretty. Unfortunately I couldn’t quite be bothered to find the griddle pan, so held the bread slices over the gas flame with some tongs. Still good!

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Then you just spread the bean puree thickly over the bread, squeeze a bit of lemon over it and that’s it! You could top it with bacon, chorizo, smoked mackerel or anything you have, this is super-flexible and meant for easy making. I’ve also made the puree with butter beans and gorgonzola, with a bit of sour cream – it’s richer but totally delicious.

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We had some  fabulous jerk-marinated ham that we made at my mum’s on Christmas eve, so a few strips of that on top added a lovely salty sweetness and the meaty hit that most of my meals are required to have.  If you’re low-carbing the puree is also lovely as a dip for fresh, crunchy celery. A perfect light dinner, and it keeps in the fridge for a few days.

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