This is a perfect dish to make ahead, as it can be served room temperature. Feel free to substitute chick peas for the white beans and add other herbs such as thyme or Italian parsley. Recipe by Amanda Cushman.
1/4 cup virgin olive oil
2 medium shallots, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 16 ounce cans Cannellini beans, rinsed, drained
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
2 large ripe tomatoes, seeded, chopped
2 tablespoons virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 loaf crusty Tuscan bread, sliced in 1/2-inch slices
Virgin olive oil for brushing
Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat and sauté the shallots and garlic for 1 minute. Add the beans and salt, pepper and rosemary, cover the pan and reduce the heat to low and cook for about 7 minutes.
Using a fork, mash up the beans in the skillet to form a rough paste. Add water as needed when the beans become too thick. Set aside.
Combine the tomato with the olive oil and minced garlic in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside.
Heat the grill over high heat. Brush the bread with a little olive oil and grill on both sides until toasted and charred slightly, about 4 minutes per side. Remove the bread to a serving platter. Spoon the puree on top of the bread and garnish with the tomato.
Yield: Serves 8 to 10 as an appetizer