Monday, September 5, 2011

White Bean and Fennel Crostini


I had some girl friends over for a jewelry party on Friday night.  Jewelry has now joined the likes of Tupperware, Pampered Chef and a host of other products offered as a in-home sales product.  A friend of mine is stylist for one of these jewelry companies, and I promised her I would host a party.  You know me; I’m always up for hosting a party, and helping Joanne was a great excuse for a party!

I had to make this party easy on myself since I chose to have the party on what seemed to be the busiest week I’ve had since before summer ended.  I served some easy pre-made appetizers, but I knew I needed to add at least one homemade appetizer. 

I had made this White Bean and Fennel Crostini a couple of weeks ago as a test for my family.  Everyone liked the appetizer, but my son loved it.  He kept coming back for more saying, “This bread stuff is really good!”  High praise!  The white bean spread tastes a little like aioli without the extra fat, so it fits right into our new way of eating, and I knew my girl friends would appreciate a healthy option.

White Bean and Fennel Crostini
Adapted from Fresh & Fast Vegetarian by Marie Simmons
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon fennel seed
kosher salt
1 15 ounce can cannellini beans
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
¼ cup minced red onion
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper
1 baguette, sliced and toasted
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, snipped

Combine garlic, fennel seed with ½ teaspoon salt in a mortar and crush into a paste with the pestle.  If you don’t have a mortar and pestle, you can finely chop the garlic and the fennel and combine with the salt and crush with the back of your knife to create a paste.

Combine the garlic mixture, white beans and olive oil into the bowl of a food processor and blend into a course puree.  Add the red onion, vinegar and ¼ teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper.  Add more salt if needed.

Spread each toast piece with the white bean mixture and top with rosemary and a drizzling of olive oil. Serve. 

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