Beans on Toast

serves 4

You can add anything to bruschetta (toasted Italian bread); try beans. This is an easy and nourishing dinner option with beans, veggies, and a little olive oil, all of which go a long way to satisfy.

2 cups dried beans
Sprigs of rosemary and thyme
2–3 whole garlic cloves
4 medium tomatoes, diced small
⅓ cup basil leaves, torn
Salt and pepper
1 loaf crusty bread, sliced
4 large garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

Soak beans overnight. The next day, cover them with water andbring to a rapid boil for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to a gentle simmer, add herb sprigs, garlic cloves, and 1 tablespoon salt and simmer until the beans are a creamy texture and have started to pop open (30 to 50 minutes, depending on the bean). Drain cooked beans into a bowl, drizzle with good olive oil. Smash them with a fork to make a paste; add salt and pepper to taste.

Mix tomatoes, basil, and salt and pepper to taste in a medium bowl. Toast bread slices, then rub with garlic and brush with oil. Spread bean paste onto toasts with a generous portion of tomato-basil mixture on top.

Julie publishes Edible Ohio Valley with her family. After 15 years in the world of commercial photography, her lens is now focused on recording the sustainability movement in the Midwest. A graduate of UC’s College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning, she’s a partner and co-founder of The Fairview Agency, a multidisciplinary creative firm.