Mmmmm . . . Crostini . . .
There is nothing quite like a piece of toasted chrunchy bread topped with an assortment of tasty ingredients. These little nibbles are perfect for a party, an appetiser/entree, along side of a salad or bowl of soup, or even on their own with a beautiful glass Sauvignon Blanc or other tipple of your choice.
That being said, flavor wise, this probably has not been one of my favorite dishes I have made so far during the 100 Days Project. It tastes nice and full of spring flavors (like lemon and mint), but the inclusion of the raw pea shoots, which I enjoy in salads and sandwiches on their own, did not quite seem to work with the other ingredients.
Th original recipe called for Fava beans, which I could not find in New Zealand this time of year, so maybe the Cannellini Beans I used instead were lacking something to bring the flavors together.
But everyone is different, so if you like the sound of the recipe, give it a try . . . you never know, it could be your new favorite.
You can easily make it gluten free by using a different base for the toppings, and make it dairy free by leaving off the cheese.
White Bean & Pea Shoot Crostini
adapted from: The Cozy Herbivore
PREP TIME: about 10 minutes
COOKING TIME: about 20 minutes
MAKES: about 24 crostini
for the bean spread:
- 1 1/2 pounds or 1 1/4 cups cannellini beans
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 ounces pea shoots, roughly chopped
- 1 bunch or 1/2 cup loosely packed fresh mint, roughly chopped
- 1 small bunch or 1/4 cup loosely packed fresh flat-leafed parsley, roughly chopped
- the juice of 2 lemons (about 2 tablespoons)
- sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
- parmesan or manchego cheese, for garnish
- 1 baguette, cut diagonally into 1/4″ slices
- 1 clove garlic, roughly smashed
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- a sprinkle of sea salt and a few cracks of the pepper mill
Prepare the crostini:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F or 180 degrees C. Lay baguette slices on a couple of baking sheets and rub smashed garlic clove on top of the bread. Lightly brush slices with olive oil and from, and sprinkle with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper.
Place in oven and bake until bread is uniformly a dark golden brown, checking often so the slices don’t burn. This will take anywhere from 10-20 minutes. Remove slices as they brown and set aside. Crostini can be made up to two days ahead and stored at room temperature in an airtight container.
Prepare the bean spread:
Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Add cannellini beans and boil till soft. Drain and rinse
under cold water. Alternatively you can use a slow cooker to cook the beans, or you can use canned beans if you do not have dried beans around.
Place cooked beans, olive oil, pea shoots, 4. mint, parsley and lemon juice in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until a thick paste is created. (If mixture is super-chunky, drizzle a little more olive oil through the top of the food processor while it’s running until a
smooth consistency is reached.) Season to taste with sea salt & pepper.
The fava paste can be made up to a day ahead and stored in an airtight container in the fridge.
Spread 1 teaspoon of bean paste onto each crostini. Using a vegetable peeler, shave off long, thin slices of manchego or parmesan cheese to garnish.