White Bean Bruschetta
Chef Mario Batali of Babbo, New York, NY
Adapted by StarChefs.com

Yield: 4 Servings

My kids both love to be in the kitchen, which makes it a lot of fun to cook for them. Although they're still a little too young to sauté mushrooms or dice onions, they're helpful nonetheless. Benno, who is almost three, will put on an apron and stand on a stool next to me, handing me things I need and asking questions. He's also a great help in tasting and adjusting seasoning. Leo, at age one, provides our entertainment while we cook, and likes to put dishes in the dishwasher - and sometimes take them out again.

Benno and Leo are a parent's - and a chef's - dream in that they really go for food that most kids their age wouldn't touch: spinach, goat's milk yogurt, raw sliced garlic, spicy sauces. The white bean bruschetta mixture I serve at PO is one of the first foods that Benno ever ate, and both boys still love it. They're also huge pasta fans, and the gnocchi with oxtails is a favorite. The soft bite of the gnocchi in combination with slow-braised meat makes an easy-to eat dish for young kids, even while they're teething!


  • 1 cup cooked canellini beans
  • 4 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons black olive paste
  • 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 Tablespoons basil leaves, cut in narrow ribbons (chiffonade)
  • 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 1-inch thick slices Italian peasant bread, grilled

Preheat the grill or broiler.

In a mixing bowl, gently stir together the beans, olive oil, vinegar, red pepper flakes, rosemary, basil and garlic. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Spoon bean mixture onto 4 freshly grilled bread slices and serve immediately.


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