Any Which Way You Cannellini

Two Italian favorites in one simply delicious dish
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We love a good mash-up. Our Test Kitchen tweaked two of our Italian favorites--ribollita, a bread-thickened vegetable soup, and bruschetta--and combined them into this two-in-one dish. Cannellini beans, sautéed with leeks, garlic, fennel seeds, rosemary and lemon, and tossed with bits of baked ham and scallions, become a fragrant topping for thick slabs of toasted country-style bread. Let the soupy bean mixture soak into the bread, and enjoy this delicious remix.

Beans on Toast

Recipe from the Tasting Table Test Kitchen

Yield: 4 servings

Cook Time: 35 minutes


2 teaspoons grapeseed oil

2 medium leeks, light green and white parts only, halved and thinly sliced

3 medium garlic cloves, very finely chopped

½ teaspoon ground fennel seed

½ teaspoon kosher salt

One 15-ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

2 cups low-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth

1 sprig fresh rosemary

1 dried bay leaf

Juice of ½ lemon

Nonstick pan spray

3 slices baked ham (preferably rosemary-baked ham), roughly torn into bite-size pieces (about ½ cup)

2 thick slices Italian country-style bread, halved crosswise

Good-quality extra-virgin olive oil (optional)

2 medium scallions, light green and white parts only, thinly sliced

Freshly ground black pepper


1. In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, add the oil. Stir in the leeks, garlic, ground fennel seed and salt. Cover and cook, stirring often, until the leeks are very soft but not browned, 6 to 8 minutes (reduce the heat if the leeks start to brown).

2. While the leeks cook, place half of the beans in a small bowl and use a fork to mash them.

3. Pour the chicken broth over the leeks and add the mashed and remaining whole beans, the rosemary and the bay leaf. Increase the heat to high and bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to medium-low and gently simmer for 20 minutes. Add the lemon juice and turn off the heat.

4. Set a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat for 1 minute. Lightly coat with nonstick pan spray, add the ham and cook until browned, shaking the pan often, about 1 minute. Transfer the browned ham to a medium bowl.

5. Place the bread slices in the toaster (or under the broiler if they don't easily fit in the toaster) and toast. Drizzle with olive oil (if using) and place each piece of toast on a plate. Divide the bean-leek mixture between the toasts, drizzle with additional olive oil (if using) and top each with some of the browned ham and scallions. Serve with freshly ground black pepper. Calories per Serving: 230; Sodium: 750mg; Total Carbohydrate: 37g; Fiber: 7g; Fat: 4g

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