everyone knows that bruschetta is the perfect appetizer. it’s basically a blank slate for any number of delicious toppings. everyone’s super familiar with the old tomatoes & basil standby. we’ve even made a couple varieties here & here.
for this week’s recipe, i wanted to take the this typical starter & elevate it into something meal worthy & the latest issue of bon appetit had just what i had in mind.
WHITE BEAN RAGOUT WITH TOAST
makes 4-6 servings
3 medium onions, roughly chopped
1 red bell pepper, roughly chopped
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
kosher salt & freshly ground pepper
4 cloves garlic, 3 grated, 1 halved
2 teaspoons tomato paste
4-6 1″ thick slices crusty, rustic bread
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, finely grated & divided
2 15oz cans cannellini beans, drained & rinsed
3 cups vegetable broth
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley, chopped
in the bowl of a food processor, pulse onions until finely chopped, being careful not to puree. transfer to a medium bowl. do the same with the red bell pepper, then add to the bowl with the onions & mix well.
add the olive oil to a large skillet & heat over medium heat. add the onion mixture (it’s going to splatter) & season with salt & freshly ground pepper. cook, stirring frequently, until the onions & pepper have completely softened, about 30 minutes. add the grated garlic & tomato paste. continue to cook, stirring often, until the tomato paste turns a deep red color, about 3 minutes.
remove half of the mixture (called soffritto) from the pan, saving for another occasion. add the beans to the pan with the remaining soffritto, turning the heat up to medium high. cook, stirring frequently, until everything is heated through. pour in the broth, turn the heat up until the mixture boils, then turn the heat down to a simmer. simmer, scraping the brown bits from the bottom of the pan until the liquid has slightly thickened, about 3-4 minutes. add the tomatoes & simmer until they are tender. stir in 2 tablespoons of the parmesan & season with salt & pepper.
turn the broiler on to high & position the oven rack to the top. arrange the bread on a sheet pan in a single layer. broil until browned on both sides, flipping once. the edges may get slightly charred.
remove bread from the oven. while it’s still hot, rub the halved garlic over one side of each slice. divide the bread among bowls & spoon bean mixture over the tops. sprinkle with remaining parmesan & chopped parsley. serve.
thanks to laura for hosting this week! head over to her site, linked above, for the full recipe. be sure to check out how everyone else topped their bruschetta at the food matters project!