From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...Do you like a good pot of baked beans? If so, you can count my sister in your ranks. Years ago my brother and I would tease her unmercifully about the baked bean sandwiches she loved to make. I was sure her sandwich was an original creation and equally certain that civilized people didn't make baked bean sandwiches. We are very close in age, as a matter of fact we are Irish twins, so it is probably unnecessary to tell you that as kids we had our own version of yin and yang. I really got on my high horse about the bean sandwiches, which by the way she continued to eat, and it would be years, and an English breakfast, before I realized she was not alone. People around the world really do eat bean sandwiches and in Britain they are an extremely popular breakfast dish. As a matter of fact more cans of baked beans are eaten in Britain than in the rest of the world combined. We are talking millions of cans, not an odd case or two. Now I've never converted to beans for breakfast, but a chance sampling of a bean sandwich made by a French chef in Laos completely cured my aversion to beans on bread. I found the recipe for this open face bean sandwich in Fine Cooking magazine and it is so good that I wanted to share it with those of you who are adventurous eaters and still caught in the throes of winter. I've made substantial changes to their recipe, but you can find the original version here. This is good stick-to-the-ribs food and I know that those of you who try it will be pleased. Here is how the sandwiches are made.
Cannellini Beans Over Garlic Toast...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite inspired by Fine Cooking magazine
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
4-1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley + more for garnish, divided use
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
4 slices thick cut bacon, finely chopped
1 medium shallot, chopped
2 (18–oz.) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1 cup lower-salt chicken broth or water; more as needed
1 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
3 large 3/4-inch-thick slices boule (rustic round-style bread)
1) Position a rack 8 inches below the broiler and heat the broiler on high. Combine butter, 3 tablespoons parsley, and garlic in a small bowl.
2) Heat oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until starting to brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Add shallot and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add beans, tomatoes, broth, tomato paste, and reserved 1-1/2 tablespoons of parsley. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to maintain a simmer, cover, and cook for 10 minutes to meld flavors.
3) Uncover and cook, mashing some beans with a fork or potato masher but leaving most whole, until mixture is saucy, about 2 minutes. If beans are dry, add broth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
4) Meanwhile, toast bread under broiler on both sides until golden. Spread one side of each piece with some garlic butter.
5) Stir remaining garlic butter into bean mixture. Place toasts on plates, and spoon beans over. Sprinkle with chopped parsley if desired. Yield: 2 to 3 servings.
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