Wednesday, July 27, 2011

White Bean Bruschetta with Prosciutto

Bruschetta is one of my absolute favorite foods. 
I want to eat it three times a day, bathe in it, and wake up next to it in the morning. 
I throw Italian themed dinner parties so that I have an excuse to make mountains of it. I make it for taco night to remind people how good I am at making it and I throw it at my boyfriend every time he stops smelling like garlic in between.

I need to live in Italy.

6 slices of rustic italian bread
4 roma tomatoes, small dice
1 small clove of garlic, plus 2 whole cloves to rub on toasted bread
5 leaves of fresh basil, cut into thin strips
1 tbsp olive oil, plus some for rubbing on bread
1/2 tsp salt
Thinly sliced prosciutto

White Bean Paste
1 cup of great northern white beans, cooked and drained
1/8 cup white onion, chopped
1 small clove garlic
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt, more or less to taste and depending on if you use canned beans of dried. 

Basil oil
handful of fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup olive oil
salt, to taste
cheesecloth/ fine mesh strainer

In a bowl, combine diced tomatoes (remove the seeds), basil, olive oil, and salt. 
Finely chop the garlic and use the side of your knife to grind it into a smooth paste. Add the garlic paste to the tomato mixture and gently stir. Set aside to let the flavors marinate. 

For the bean paste I used dried beans. Please learn from my mistake and do something better with your time than wait for 45 minutes for  your beans to cook..... use canned beans and drain them well. If you are crazy and want to use dried beans, soak them overnight and then simmer them in a large pot of water for 45 minutes to an hour until they are soft. 
Combine beans, chopped onion, small clove of garlic, olive oil, and salt in a food processor and blend until almost smooth. I like my food to have a rustic feel to it, so I left my beans a little bit chunky. 

Brush both sides of sliced bread with olive oil. Rub the bread with garlic. I smash my garlic cloves and then rub them on the bread for more flavor. Place bread on a baking sheet and toast in a 400 degree oven for 5 minutes or until the bread is golden brown and crispy. Keep an eye on the bread- I have to really emphasize these things because I am pretty much a professional at burning things instead of toasting them. 

To Assemble:
Spread the bean paste on each piece of toasted bread. 
Place a heaping spoonful of tomatoes and basil on top of the bean paste and then top it all off with a pile of prosciutto. 
If you want to garnish the dish with basil oil, pour olive oil and basil into a blender. 
Can someone please buy me a Vita-Mix Blender? Thanks.
Blend until smooth and then strain the mixture through a cheesecloth and add salt to taste. 

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