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Bruschetta. Not just with tomatoes anymore…

It is summertime. Finally. And the heat has arrived, not complaining of course… but with the arrival of this kind of temperature, cooking big meals over the stove ends for me. Full stop. So….say hello to my good friend Bruschetta – and be sure to pronounce it right [brusˈketːa] so the Italians in the room don’t take offence.

Technically, bruschetta is thickly sliced bread, grilled or toasted, rubbed with a garlic clove and moistened with fresh extra virgin olive oil. Italians eat it as an appetizer or snack – some eat it as is while others choose to top it with a variety of ingredients. A variety of ingredients? Yes a VARIETY not just the tomato and basil version that most of us know and love.

In addition to feeling overheated, we are feeling a little Tuscan today… and so today’s Mediterranean Monday dish is Cannellini Bean Bruschetta. Here is the recipe which makes about 2 cups of the topping.

  • 2, 425gram cans of white cannellini beans
  • 3 tbsp (or more!) of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/4 cup of chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • a couple of twists of fresh ground black pepper

Drain and rinse the canned beans in a big colander. Place all ingredients into a food processor or blender and blend until you have a smooth spreadable purée. Add more olive oil if the spread is too thick for your liking.

This spread can now be used as a bruschetta topping, as a side dish with barbecued sausages, or as a dip for vegetables. I call it Italian Hummus.

If you use it as a bruschetta topping, garnish with bit of chopped parsley or a drizzle of traditional aged balsamic if you really want to be fancy pants.

Keeping in my Tuscan mood, the absolute best oil to use in this is dish is Le Trebbiane from Frantoio Franci.

If you need more inspiration, check out this video of our friend Chef Neil Taylor of Cibo Trattoria as he shows us his versions of Bruschetta (and note the oil he uses, wink wink). 


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