Bruschetta with White Beans, Sun-dried Tomatoes and Basil

Chef's note: The flavor from cooked dried beans is delicious, but you can also use canned white beans here if you want to make this recipe[ and you don't have time to cook the beans from scratch. Substitute 1 (15-ounce) can of white cannelloni beans, drained, with a bit of the bean liquid reserved.]

Total Time:
2 hr 40 min
Prep:
40 min
Inactive:
1 hr
Cook:
1 hr

Yield:
4 servings
Level:
Intermediate

Ingredients
  • For the beans:
  • 3/4 cup cannelloni beans
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • For the bruschetta and topping:
  • 1 small baguette, sliced into thick pieces
  • 1 tablespoon thinly sliced garlic, plus 1 garlic clove, peeled, for coating bread
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes
  • 8 to 10 basil leaves
  • 1/3 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • Lemon juice
  • Salt and fresh black pepper
  • 2 ounces ricotta salata cheese, grated large
Directions
For the beans:

Rinse the beans well and then put in a 1-quart saucepan. Cover with water to 1-inch over the top of the beans. On medium-high heat, bring to a boil. Immediately take the pot away from the burner, cover and hold for 1 hour. Change the water; add half of the extra-virgin olive oil, 1 garlic clove and the bay leaf. Cook beans on low. Simmer for about 40 minutes or until tender. During last 10 minutes, add 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir in carefully. Remove from heat and hold in the saucepan with the cooking liquid until cool. This may be done 1 to 2 days before serving, and kept refrigerated.

For the bruschetta topping:

Preheat a grill or stove-top grill pan.

Grill the bread on both sides until crispy. Be careful on high heat as bread burns easily.

While bread is grilling, in a saute pan on medium heat, toast the sliced garlic in the olive oil. When it is light golden, add the chili flakes, cook for 10 seconds and then add the basil leaves. Do this carefully, as the basil may spatter some oil.

With a slotted spoon, transfer the beans to the pan. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of the bean cooking liquid (or liquid from canned beans) and mix all together. Hold warm. Adjust consistency, as necessary, with the bean liquid, a little at a time.

When the basil leaves are wilted, remove mixture from the heat. Add the sun-dried tomatoes and chopped parsley. Toss to combine and adjust the seasoning with lemon juice, to taste, and salt and pepper.

Lightly swipe the remaining garlic clove on 1 side of the bread. Arrange the toasted bruschetta on a serving platter and drizzle with the remaining extra-virgin olive oil. Top each piece with some of the tomato-bean mixture, then evenly divide the ricotta salata over the mixture. Serve warm.


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    Super tasty! Great for an appetizer. Loans of flavor.
    Great, different, wouldn't change a thing.
    I really enjoyed this. Very easy to make, this bruschetta is a keeper.
    I just made this for my family and there are no leftovers. So good! I used canned beans instead of dried. I let the beans simmer for about 20 min. on low with the garlic, bay leaf and enough water to cover. Also, I used feta cheese instead of the ricotta salata because my grocery store doesn't carry it.
    I made this Sunday as part of my Italian Step-dad's birthday dinner. It was an instant hit. My anti-veggie 16 year old son, Zach made me make another batch yesterday and leave it for him for snack. You get the tang from the lemon juice, heat from the crushed red pepper, and the sweet sundried tomato all at once. This will be a "go to" recipe to serve those unexpected drop-in guests. All of the ingredients are staples in my cupboard! I even slice and toast the leftover baguettes and store them in a zip-lock bag. MANY THANKS MICHAEL!!!
    After watching Chef Chiarello make this on a re-run of Easy Entertaining I was anxious to give this a try. I made it for my guests last evening and paired it with the Giana Zinfandel from Chef Chiarello's family vineyard. Yum-o! Both received RAVE reviews! Several guests asked for the recipe so I've sent them this link. I will definitely make this again.
     
     One thing I observed when watching Chef make this on his show - when using the canned beans, add the bay leaf to the mixture after adding the beans. This recipe mentions the bay leaf when starting with dry beans but never mentions it if you are using canned beans.
    I made this for a dinner party of "foodie" people. It is sooo good.they loved it, one person joked oh yummy beans on bread, but once he tasted it he ate 3 more! I added a bit more red pepper than recipe called for and it was very zippy.I'll follow the recipe next time. I love the garlic rubbed on the bread, it just adds to the layers of flavor this appetizer has to offer. This is a keeper!
    I made the mistake of trying to substitute Small White Beans, and was all set to add these to the garlic and sundried tomatoes before I realized that they were not cooked enough. If you are going to switch, make sure to cook the white or navy beans longer. Had to do a fast substitution using canned white beans to get this ready in time. Even with the canned beans, these were very good, and I am sure they would be even better using the cannelloni beans. Also, next time I would only use half of the red pepper flakes, since I thought they competed too much with the sweetness of the sundried tomatoes.
     
     Will try again tomorrow with the homemade beans, if they ever finish cooking!
    Judging from the ingredients and other reviewers, there shouldn't be any reason for bad smell or taste.
     
     A few possibilities come to mind:
     
     Your Extra Virgin Olive Oil was rancid (easy to have happen when one buys large bottles and/or doesn't keep in fridge - especially if not used often.)
     
     The dried tomatoes weren't packed in oil, or just wasn't a great tasting brand - odd seasonings (?), or were simply past prime.
     
     The garlic was past its prime, or was burnt (doesn't take much to move from golden brown to bitter.) Nothing can wreck the flavor of any recipe than this!
     
     The Ricotta you used was past its prime or just was a rotty-tasting brand.
     
     Any one of the mentioned possibilities could have caused the 'Stinkies"
     
     As a side not, I'm a huge fan of canned beans (find a brand that doesn't overcook beans to mush-level), which I rinse until there are no more bubbles and drain until dry before adding other ingredients. That's always a good hint - no bubbles, no more ummm...y'know, issues! lollllll
     
     Hope this might answer your question, Shirley.
     
     
    This was absolutely amazing. I don?t normally care for sun-dried tomatoes, but I tried it anyway. The sweetness of the tomatoes really balanced out the earthiness of the beans. It was layered with great flavor. The lemon juice is a must?acidic, garlicky, sweet, and hearty- delicious.
    Michael is extremely talented, and this recipe is just one of many examples of how he masterfully combines simple ingredients to get a burst of flavor. As soon as you bite into this, you'll see what I mean. This is easy to make and absolutely scrumptious. You could play around with it if you want, but why mess with perfection?
    You can't go wrong making this...adjust to suit your personal taste. Fresh tasting!
    Delicious. Not sure how the servings were computed. So, I doubled the recipe and it turned out great.Everyone loved it. . Had left over for the next day, and with some more crunchy lettuce and some cheese and some foccacia bread it was a great sandwich. Tip with a little lemon was great. Thanks.
    Loved this recipe the first time I made it. Everyone loved it. Making it again tonight for a girls night in!
    This Bruschetta was out of this world. I made it on New Years Eve and it was really good and easy to make. Not to mention it was very different!
    What a great way to start off a dinner party!
    Once again, Michael comes through with a great recipe that's easy, delicious and a hit at our recent dinner party with friends.
    Add a salad, good bottle of wine and you have a meal with this excellent Bruschetta.
     
     My hats off to the Chef on this one!
    I don't know what it was but this was entirely stinky! Even though it stunk, I tasted it but it was terrible. Michael, I LOVE the Mediterranean Tomato Sauce but this is awful. Sorry. Maybe someone can answer why? because I'm not being mean.
    I love this dish. I am used to traditional bruschetta, this was such a terrific recipe. I look forward to more recipes with sun-dried tomato's
    Loved it, will make it again real soon.
    When I saw this on TV, being Italian, I just had to try it. It was fabulous! I know I added more fresh basil and parsely than called for. I served it warm and it soaked nicely into the bread, and I also squeezed a little lemon over it before serving - made it pop! Next time I will try some baby spinach to it - just to give it a little more body.
    This was so easy and flavorful. I know it will become a regular on our table.
    Michael you are the man!! This is a wonderful appetizer. I did a test run for a party I will be doin and my husband is glad he was the test master so he could have them all to himself. I added lemon zest and used dried basil leaves since I didn't have the fresh. Also used goat chz for 1/2 the batch as well. I did cook them a bit to long which made them like Italian refried beans, still tasty.
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