An uncomplicated but delicious bruschetta topping made with cannellini beans, cherry tomatoes, basil and capers.
I’ve got a bit of a habit of over-thinking things. Everything, in fact. I’m planning some travel at the moment and I’m so far down the rabbit hole of this vs that, that I can hardly think straight.
Over-thinking can definitely apply to food too. I’ve been guilty of not eating, putting off eating or eating inappropriate meals sometimes because I chase myself in circles about balance, health and nutrition, and overwhelm myself with options. It’s silly, but I’m sure some of you will also be able to relate. Crackers for lunch at 3pm because lunch felt too hard to decide on is a cop-out, really.
Today’s recipe is a reminder that delicious and nutritious can be totally uncomplicated and delivered with just a few ingredients. The day I made this bruschetta, I’d picked up a beautiful loaf of sourdough earlier in the day. My oldest girl was at home for the day, a little under the weather, and I needed to whip up something yummy but healthy for our lunch.
Cannellini bean and cherry tomato bruschetta topping
It doesn’t take too much effort to create something delicious if your starting point is a loaf of beautiful hand-made bread. I sliced it thickly, drizzled it with olive oil and whacked it onto my griddle pan to toast it (you could also just use your toaster, of course – with no oil). Because we’re both garlic fiends, when the bruschetta came off the grill I rubbed the toasted surface with a cut garlic clove.
I always have a range of canned beans in the pantry, and decided to base our meal around cannellini beans. While the bread was grilling I roughly mashed them, stirred through halved sweet, ripe cherry tomatoes, capers and basil, and it all came together as a fantastic vegan bruschetta topping. Finished with a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar, we were very happy girls.
Simplicity is a remarkable thing sometimes. Each serve (two slices of bread, piled up with bruschetta topping) packs a massive 32g of protein, 66.1 per cent of the RDI for iron and 22.8 per cent for calcium.
Not bad. Not bad at all.
Cannellini bean and cherry tomato bruschetta
For the bruschetta:
- 4 slices sourdough bread
- Olive oil, to drizzle or spray
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and cut in half
For the topping:
- 1 can cannellini beans, drained
- 12 cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1-2 tsp capers
- Small handful basil leaves, thinly sliced
- Salt and pepper, to season
- Olive oil, to drizzle
- Balsamic vinegar, to drizzle
- If using, heat a griddle pan until it's very hot. Drizzle or spray bread with a little olive oil, then grill on both sides until toasted and marked. Once toasted, rub the surface with the cut garlic clove.
- While the bread is grilling, roughly mash the cannellini beans. I like them about half mashed with some whole beans still in the mix. Reserve a few capers for garnish, finely chop the rest and add them to the beans, along with the cherry tomatoes and basil leaves. Drizzle in a little olive oil (1-2 tsp), add a good grind of salt and pepper, then stir to combine the mixture. Pile it onto the grilled sourdough and drizzle with a little more olive oil, and balsamic vinegar.
- Serve immediately.