Cannellini Beans Over Toast

This recipe will become a new favorite — inexpensive, elegant enough to serve to company, and vegetarian! Actually, this is the vegetarian version of my recipe which appeared in  Fine Cooking magazine. That recipe included pancetta but wasn’t topped with arugula. (

 This recipe includes instructions for making toasts that are rubbed with garlic. These are called croutons, which you’ve probably eaten a zillion times in restaurants or purchased in bags to sprinkle on your salads or soups. Now you’ll be able to make them yourself! Shallots are a cross between garlic and onion, so they impart a more mellow flavor than garlic. If you’re not sure how to prep them, click on “chopping an onion” in the Ins & Outs section.


Serves 2

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 large garlic cloves, one minced and one whole
  • 1 medium shallot, minced
  • pinch of hot pepper flakes, optional
  • 3/4 cup vegetable broth or reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 1 15.5-oz can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained (see Chilled Black Bean Soup with Avocado)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons dry white wine
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
  • 2 large slices 3/4-inch rustic bread, such as a sourdough boule or tuscan panella
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons grated romano or parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup arugula leaves

1.Heat the oil in a saucepan or skillet over medium heat. Add the minced shallot, minced garlic, and pinch of hot pepper flakes and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring frequently, until the shallot is translucent.

2.Add the broth, beans, salt, wine, tomatoes, tomato paste, and oregano. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes to blend the flavors. Don’t let it boil vigorously. You just want a gentle bubbling.

3.While the beans are simmering, make the toast. Smash the remaining garlic clove with the flat blade of a chef’s knife, pressing down on the blade with your hand.

4.Toast the bread either in a toaster oven or under a broiler. Spear the smashed garlic clove with a fork and rub it over the toasted bread. It’s totally delicious to have part of the garlic get absorbed into the bread. Place the toasts onto two dinner plates.

5.After 10 minutes, remove about a 1/4 cup of the beans and place in a small bowl. Try to capture only the beans. Mash them with the back of a spoon and return them to the pot.

6.Add the butter and grated romano cheese and stir to combine. Taste for seasoning. Depending on the type of broth you use, you might have to add more salt. Also, if you omitted the hot pepper flakes, you might want to add a bit of black pepper.

7.Divide the beans over the toasts, top with arugula, and serve.

Grocery Bag: Cannellini Beans Over Toast