White Bean Bruschetta

by Susan on October 3, 2011

If you live in NYC, or have visited NYC, and haven’t eaten at Po in the West Village, you are missing out. Mario Batali was involved when the restaurant first opened, but he has since moved on. I’m a Batali fan, but in this instance, he hasn’t been missed.

Po is an authentic, quaint, and delicious Italian restaurant. The still too-loud soundtrack plays slightly better tunes than at Babbo. There are no cookbooks for sale, though this white bean bruschetta is straight out of the Po playbook.

After a couple of dinners at Po, where big slices of peasant bread topped with cannellini beans arrived at my table, I realized I had to try and make them at home. They’ve since become a standby appetizer for me – they’re elegant, satisfying, and oh-so easy to make. It’s hearty comfort food, dressed up for company. Whenever I serve them, I get oodles of compliments.

The bad news is that anyone who asks for the recipe realizes how easy they are to make. The good news is now you do too!

This is one of those recipes that comes out slightly different every time. Sometimes it’s a little more garlicky. Other times a little more acidic. Regardless, it’s always, always good. Taste and play as you go.

White Bean Bruschetta
Makes 8-12 bruschettas depending on your bread size

1 cup cooked cannellini beans (white kidney beans), if using canned, they must be drained and rinsed well
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons chopped basil leaves
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
Salt and pepper
French Baguette, sliced to 1/2″ thickness

In a bowl, gently stir together the beans, olive oil, vinegar, red pepper flakes, basil, and garlic. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Let it sit in the refrigerator for as long as possible, at least a few hours.

Sliced bread can be grilled or toasted. Spoon bean mixture on to toasted bread and serve immediately.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Anne Mann April 11, 2013 at 2:28 pm

This is so good! Opened a can of cannellini beans by accident. . . found this recipe. Used my immersion blender and made a puree for dipping with raw veggies. The balsamic vinegar is the kicker . . .

tracy hannon April 9, 2014 at 3:57 pm

Po, as well, continues to be one of my favorite places. Quaint, but lively, the service was impeccable and the food delicious, clean and fresh. The presentation of the white bean bruschetta, simple, yet so delicious. The place was small enough to be able to hear my fellow Scarlet Ka’nigit, Chef Mario Batali talking with his kitchen staff.

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