This makes for a great appetizer or a tasty starter. I have adapted the recipe of Chef Yotam Ottolenghi, whose cuisine I really love!
I don’t cook cannellini beans just to make this starter; I usually cook a batch of them and freeze them in small bags for future use. This way, when I need beans, I just defrost them overnight and they are ready to use.
Cannellini beans are white beans, but I have used cinnamon colored ones for this recipe, and it was great. Cannellini beans originally come from Argentina and have been used by Italians since the 17th century. Their Latin name is Phaseolus vulgaris.
This is delicious, and slightly addictive (meaning, you could well end up eating the whole plate!)
Serves 8 as an appetizer , 4 as a starter – Total time 60 min with cooked beans
5 oz (150g) dried cannellini beans
2 red peppers
0.45 cup (90 ml) olive oil
1 tbsp sherry vinegar
1 tbsp water
5 garlic cloves
pinch of thyme
1 tbsp lemon juice
good quality country bread, or homemade bread
salt, pepper, oregano
Cook the beans without salt until they are tender. Don’t throw away the cooking liquid.
Preheat oven to 400ºF (200ºC).
Cut the red peppers into quarters and get rid of the seeds and the white parts. Place in an oven dish and drizzle with 2 tbsp olive oil. Add a bit of sea salt.
Roast the peppers during 30 minutes. Transfer to a plastic bag or a bowl covered with cling film. This is a cool little trick that makes peeling the peppers a lot easier.
Once they are no longer warm, peel the peppers. Place in a bowl with their cooking juices. Set aside.
In another bowl, whisk together 0.3 cup (60 ml) olive oil, vinegar, water, thyme, 2 garlic cloves, and a pinch of sea salt. Pour this dressing over the peppers and leave to marinate for at least 30 minutes.
In a blender, mix the beans with 1 garlic clove, lemon juice, the remaining olive oil, 1 tsp sea salt, pepper, and about 0.25 cup (50ml) of the cooking liquid of the beans. You can add liquid so that the puree is not too thick. It shouldn’t be runny, either.
Adjust the seasoning to your own taste. Refrigerate.
Toast the bread slices and brush them with a little olive oil.
On each slice of bread, add some bean puree, and place the roasted peppers on top. Sprinkle a little oregano on this tartine.
Serve cool, but not chilled. Enjoy!
Note: roasted peppers can be kept in the fridge for about a week immersed in their marinade.