With potlucks, picnics, al fresco dining and casual summer entertaining events filling our weekends (and even spilling into the work week) it is important to have a few simple summery noshes in your recipe repertoire. Here is one I go to again and again. It is a classic Italian antipasti of grilled bread topped with savory white bean puree and garlicky greens. I love the way it can easily be adapted to what I have on hand.
This time I tweaked it to accommodate the seasonal ingredients from our CSA. [Actually right now our Spring CSA and our Summer CSA are overlapping for two weeks, and we have double the produce we normally have.] From Pete’s Greens we got some very tender baby leeks that looked almost like scallions. I was able to chop them and use the green parts too, because they weren’t too woody the way mature leeks are. Normally I would have used slowly cooked onions as the base of the puree. But the leeks were lovely and turned the puree a light green color. We also had beet greens and chard this week, so that’s what I used for the garlicky greens. Though spinach would be great too.
- 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 ½ cups chopped leeks, tender part only,cleaned and drained
- 2 tablespoons chopped garlic, divided
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
- 2 14-ounce cans no-salt added cannellini beans, such as Eden, drained and rinsed
- 2 large bunches tender cooking greens, such as chard and beet greens, leaves chopped and washed, stems chopped and separated
- 1 large baguette, sliced on a slight bias into 24 rounds
- ½ cup diced peeled pepperoni, such as Vermont Smoke and Cure
- Place 2 tablespoons oil in a medium skillet followed by leeks, 1 tablespoon garlic, 1 ¼ tsp salt and ½ teaspoon pepper and place over medium heat. Cook, stirring often until the leeks are softened but not browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in beans and cook, stirring often until heated through, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a food processor and puree until smooth.
- Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon garlic, chopped greens’ stems, the remaining ¾ teaspoon salt and the remaining ¼ teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring often until the garlic is fragrant and the stems are softened slightly, 1 to 2 minutes. Add chopped green leaves and stir until combined with the garlic mixture. Cover, increase heat to high and cook until the greens are wilted and tender, about 2 minutes longer. Remove from the heat.
- Just before serving, preheat grill to medium heat. Meanwhile, lightly brush the remaining 1 tablespoon oil over the baguette slices and grill over medium heat until lightly toasted. Top the grilled bread with the puree, the greens and pepperoni.
Nutrition analysis is for one grilled bread and toppings: Fiber: 2g. Sat Fat: 1g. Protein: 4g. Sodium: 320mg.
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