Transform a humble can of cannellini beans into a bruschetta topping with just a squeeze of lemon juice, a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of parsley. Good value, creamy and so tasty, this is one of three bruschettas for the Trio of Bruschetta Spread.
I always have a can of Cannellini Beans in my pantry. It really amazes me how many uses I find for it – in salads, as a quick mash (check out my Garlic White Bean Mash In A Flash), soups and dips. It’s filling, nutritious, and can be eaten practically straight out of the can with just a squeeze of lemon and olive oil.
Using it as a bruschetta topping is fantastic. Though not as wildly popular as Tomato and Basil, it is a topping that is authentically Italian. I make it using parsley, but I’ve seen and read variations of this using rosemary, oregano and even thyme, all of which are Italian flavours.
This is one of 3 bruschetta recipes in my Trio of Bruschetta Spread – Tomato & Basil, Cannellini Bean with Lemon and Celery and Lime (the freshness of this will knock your socks off!). A Bruschetta Spread is a great starter or light meal for guests because you fill bowls with Bruschetta toppings alongside a pile of grilled bread and let your guests serve themselves. Plus, you can make the grilled bread ahead then just pop it in the oven to reheat when you’re ready to serve, and this Lemon White Bean topping can also be made ahead.
A great pantry staple bite!
- 4 slices of good quality crusty bread like sourdough or ciabatta, sliced 1cm/0.5" thick, preferably slightly stale
- 1 garlic clove, halved (unpeeled)
- Extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
- 1 can cannellini beans (15oz/420g)
- Zest of half a lemon
- 1½ tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp parsley, finely chopped, plus extra to garnish
- Salt and pepper
- Preheat a griddle pan or barbecue (grill side, not hotplate side) on high.
- Place bread on the barbecue or griddle pan, and cook each side until nicely toasted and golden brown with char lines. You can also toast the bread in a toaster or grill/broil.
- Remove from heat and rub the surface of the bread lightly with the garlic.
- Combine ingredients in a small bowl. Mash about half the beans with a fork - leave some of the beans whole for a bit of texture.
- Taste first before seasoning with salt and pepper (saltiness of beans depends on brand).
- Spread topping onto bread. Garnish with extra parsley, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and serve immediately.
2. To make ahead, grill the bread and leave overnight (not in a container or covered in anyway) to dry out and become stale. This makes the bread even crunchier which is even more authentic. To serve, reheat in a moderate oven, then rub with garlic.
3. This topping can be made a day ahead. Just make sure to bring it to room temperature before serving.