White Bean Crostini With Salsa Verde

Let's ring in the new year with something semi-healthy, semi-special and 100% lovely shall we? I mean it would just be cruel to jump straight into flipping ryvitas & water once January reared it's ugly head wouldn't it? Yes, that would indeed be very

very

cruel.

I made this dish lots over the festive period and it was always a winner with everyone. You can take it with or without the salsa verde, but in my opinion it worked better with it. Tons of it. I'm currently on the lookout for a good veggie salsa verde & until I find one i'm just going to look at this picture & dream of 2012. You on the other hand don't have to, so go on - dive in. 

For four you will need:

Recipe adapted slightly from Bill Granger

Easy

for the crostini:

1 loaf of ciabatta, thinly sliced

2 tbsps olive oil

2 large garlic cloves, thinnly sliced

1 lemon, zest finely grated

2 x 400g tins canellini beans, drained & well rinsed

80ml of chicken or vegetable stock

sea salt & freshly ground black pepper

for the salsa verde:

2 large handfuls of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped

1 small handful of mint leaves, finely chopped

1 shallot finely diced

90ml extra virgin olive oil

60ml lemon juice

6 anchovy fillets in oil, finely chopped

2 heaped tsbs capers, rinsed, dried & chopped

And you will need to do this:

For the bread:

1. Pre-heat your oven to 200c/gm 6.

2. Place your sliced ciabatta on a baking tray (you may need two) and drizzle or brush lightly with the olive oil. Sprinkle with sea salt & freshly ground black pepper and bake for 10-12 minutes, until golden brown. 

3. Once browned, transfer to a serving platter and leave to cool.

For the beans:

1. Put the 2 tablespoons of olive oil, garlic & lemon zest and cook over a low heat for 2-3 minutes, until the garlic in softened but not coloured.

2. Add the beans, stock a pinch of sea salt & plently of black pepper. Warm through for 3-4 minutes, tossing occasionally until hot.

 3. Remove from the heat & lightly mash to roughly crush the beans. Pour into a serving bowl and allow to cool (the mixture will thicken as it does).

4. Once cooled, drizzle with olive oil & sprinkle generously with black pepper.

For the salsa verde:

Stir all the ingredients together in a bowl & mix well. Season with black pepper only and transfer to a serving bowl.

There you go! Load up those little breads full of tasty yumminess and enjoy. I know you will! And feel free to fling any good recipes for veggie / vegan salsa verde my way...