White Bean and Basil Purée
with Peasant Bread Toasts
by cookbook author Barbara Scott-Goodman
Yield: 6 servings
- 1 cup (1/2 pound) dried white cannellini
- 2 onions
- 6 cups water
- 1 cup chicken stock, preferably
- 6 sprigs fresh parsley
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 6 cloves garlic, halved
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- 2 Tablespoons crème fraîche
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- Salt and freshly ground pepper,
To prepare the purée,
pick over the beans, discarding any broken or misshapen
ones, and rinse thoroughly. Put the beans in a large bowl,
add enough cold water to cover by about 2 inches and set
aside to soak for 6 to 8 hours or overnight.
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 12 round slices peasant bread
- 6 Kalamata olives, pitted and halved
- 12 whole basil leaves, for garnish
Drain the beans and transfer them to a stockpot. Quarter
1 of the onions, reserving the other for a later use.
Add the water, stock, quartered onion and parsley and
bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and
simmer the beans, uncovered, for 40 to 50 minutes until
just tender, skimming any foam that rises to the surface.
Be careful not to overcook. Drain, discard the onions
and parsley and set the beans aside.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet.
Chop the remaining onion, add it and the garlic to the
skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring, for 10
to 15 minutes, or until the beans are heated through.
Set aside to cool.
Transfer the bean mixture to a food
processor fitted with the metal blade. Add the crème
fraîche and pulse 8 or 9 times until smooth. Add
the lemon juice and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Pulse until smooth.
To prepare the toasts,
preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Brush the bread slices with olive
oil and lay them on a baking sheet. Bake them for about
15 minutes or until lightly browned.
To serve, spread the purée
generously on the toasts and top each with olive halves
and basil leaves for garnish.
Garrett Olivers Beer Match:
French Farmhouse Ale or Belgian Trappist Ale (Castelain,
Jade, St. Amand, Trois Monts, Chimay Premiere)