Thursday, June 10, 2010

Green Garlic and White Bean Bruschetta

Is there anything better than a farmers' market on the cusp of summer? After a long winter of squash, potatoes, and winter greens, suddenly the market is overflowing with the season's first tentative tomatoes, soft fuzzy peaches, tender asparagus, and sugar-sweet English peas. Some late spring treats, like green garlic, show up only briefly and disappear by the time summer is in full swing.
Green garlic has a milder taste than the mature bulb, with a hint of grassy greenness that's similar to a spring onion. You can use the whole plant, stem and all. I bought a bunch and used it all week, in any dish where I would have normally used garlic: fried rice, pasta primavera, and this delicious white bean bruschetta. I splurged and topped the bruschetta with bottarga, which lent a welcome salty tang, but this would be equally delicious with massive, fluffy heaps of grated pecorino.

Green Garlic and White Bean Bruschetta
1 15 oz. can or jar of good quality cannellini beans
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 stalk green garlic (Note: if green garlic is not in season, you can substitute 1 fat clove of garlic)
Pinch of sea salt
½ ounce of bottarga (optional) or 1 cup grated pecorino cheese
8-10 leaves of basil
Large batard or similar loaf of bread

1. Slice the bread into 1-inch thick slices and place the slices in a grill pan over medium-high heat for about 4-5 minutes a side. You can do this dry, or you can brush olive oil on each side, depending on your preference. You will need somewhere between 6-8 slices for 1 can of beans.

2. Cut off and discard the root end of the green garlic. Mince the bulb and stem finely. In a small saucepan, heat the olive oil and cook the green garlic for 3-4 minutes over medium-high heat, until it is soft and fragrant. Do not brown the garlic.

3. Add the cannellini beans and warm through. Blend the cannellini/garlic mixture in a food processor or blender, adding a pinch or two of salt to taste. I left the consistency a little chunky.

4. Chiffonade the basil by rolling all the leaves into a fairly tight roll and cutting them into thin strips. Wikipedia has a helpful visual.

5. To assemble the bruschetta, spread a couple of tablespoons of the white bean puree on the toasted bread. Then sprinkle on a few ribbons of basil. Lastly, grate a generous amount of bottarga or pecorino cheese over the top.

3 comments:

  1. i love bruschetta - never thought of a white bean puree, but sounds lovely! thanks for the recipe!

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  2. this was delicious! and to think that I hate beans.. thank you for the recipe:-)

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  3. Fantastic! I'm glad you enjoyed it. :)

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