Dried beans are essential inclusions in any well-stocked pantry. Simply soak them overnight and you’ve got a ready-to-go ingredient that’s perfect for dips, soups, braises, brunches and bruschetta.
Serve this rustic, bean-topped toast with a generous drizzle of zesty salsa verde for a delicious vegetarian meal, or use more moderately-sized slices of French stick for a moreish starter.
Cook the soaked cannellini beans and garlic cloves in a pot of unsalted water over a medium heat until both are tender, but before they become mushy (around half an hour). Drain, reserving a cup of the cooking liquid.
Once cooled, mash 2/3 of the cannellini beans and all the cooked garlic cloves until rough. Stir through the un-mashed beans, chopped shallots, extra virgin olive oil, Aleppo pepper, and salt and pepper. Add cooking liquid as needed to keep the mix loose and spreadable. Taste carefully for salt, and add as needed.
Brush the bread with olive oil and toast, bake or grill until brown and crisp.
Prepare the salsa verde by blending all the ingredients together, adjusting to ensure a good balance of acidity, saltiness, and creaminess from the extra virgin olive oil.
Serve generous spoonfuls of the bean mix on the toast, topped with a drizzle of salsa verde. Keep the remaining salsa verde close at hand when serving.