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.