CANNELLINI BEAN AND CRISPY SAGE CROSTINI
Happy New Year! I hope 2020 will be a very happy and healthy one for everyone.
If you, like me, over-ate and over-drank, not to mention over-spent at Christmas and New Year, it’s time to let a bit of fresh air into life and get things back into perspective.
It was a lovely sunny morning today so I ventured into the kitchen garden to see if the garlic cloves I planted in November are coming up, and they are, encouraging green shoots, about 4” high. They will be ready to harvest in July, each little clove will have multiplied into what I hope will be big fat heads of garlic. For now, I rely on the 200 or so heads of last summer’s harvest which hang in the kitchen.
I’ve cleared the clutter from the house, gone is the tree, gone are the cards, the beautiful red lilies from Laura at Greenwheat Flowers in Penrith, which soldiered on for two weeks, shed their petals yesterday and bade me farewell.
I’ve been tidying out my larder cupboard. All the pulses are in Kilner jars, they look so pretty and yesterday the cannellini beans were tempting me to do something with them. I soaked them overnight and today was pondering their destiny. Here’s the plan; it’s simple, soothing and neither heavy on the purse nor the digestion:
Serves 4 as a starter
A loaf of ciabatta bread
250g dried cannellini beans (soaked overnight, drained and rinsed) or one tin of cooked beans, drained and rinsed
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
A tablespoon of good olive oil, plus a little more to finish, just a splash
Sea salt, a couple of generous pinches
4 sage leaves, cut into strips
1 lemon, quartered
A few twists of the peppermill (black peppercorns)
In a food processor, tip in the cannellini beans, crushed garlic cloves, whizz to a rough paste
Put the tablespoon of olive oil in a small pan and cook the sage leaves until they just begin to sizzle. Remove from the heat and set aside for a minute to cool slightly then add the oil and sage to the bean mixture in the food processor. Add the sea salt and whizz again to a smooth paste.
Slice the ciabatta loaf thinly and toast lightly for the crostini.
Tip the bean mixture from the food processor into a bowl. Squeeze two of the lemon quarters and the remaining olive oil (just a little) to the mix and stir.
Spread the mix onto the crostini, serve on a nice plate or wooden board with the remaining two lemon quarters for people to squeeze extra if they like. A twist of the pepper mill for those who want it is good too.
It’ll certainly suit me.
Cin Cin and Buon Appetito!