butter bean bruschetta


bruschetta is an obvious choice for me when thinking about starters/ appetisers when we have friends round, especially if there is a mix of likes and dislikes that need taking into account.

the obvious topping choice is tomato and basil but i tend to relegate this to final place when choosing what to do. a long-term favourite of mine involves a creamy beany spread atop the chargrilled garlicky ciabatta.

the choice of beans is not important – haricot, broad or even chickpeas all work fine. This time i chose butter beans. these were topped with parma ham, skye gyngell’s slow roasted tomatoes and some fresh basil. this is incredibly easy, store-cupboard based and delicious. if you need a change from your usual choice of bruschetta topping, give this a try.

butter bean bruschetta (makes 14-16 pieces, serving 7-8 people)

1 ciabatta, cut into 14-16 slices, each about 1cm, thick

olive oil

1 tin of butter beans (410g), drained and rinsed

1 tablespoon olive oil

salt and freshly ground pepper

2-3 cloves garlic, peeled

8-10 slices parma ham (optional*)

14-16 slow roasted tomato pieces

14-16 basil leaves, for garnish

brush each side of the ciabatta with some olive oil and cook, in a griddle pan, until toasted with blackened stripes. set aside.

meanwhile, blitz the drained butter beans with the olive oil and a little water to make a smooth paste. season to taste.

rub the toasted bread with the garlic cloves, top with the bean spread and finish each with a piece of parma ham, tomato and basil. serve.

* omit the parma ham to make this vegetarian/vegan, just add extra tomatoes.