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Smoky white bean spread on croutes

Serves 6

Begin with canned white beans, puree them with smoky Spanish paprika and lots of garlic and spread the mixture on toasted rounds of French bread.

1 small baguette, thinly sliced
1/4 cup olive oil
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 can (15 ounces) white beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 teaspoon pimenton (Spanish smoked paprika), or regular paprika
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or more to taste
1 tablespoon water, or more if necessary
Crushed red pepper (for garnish)
1. Set the oven at 375 degrees. On a baking sheet, toast the bread slices for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden, watching them carefully near the end of toasting. Set aside.

2. In a skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 to 4 minutes or until it is browned. Remove from the heat and let the garlic cool slightly.

3. In a food processor, combine the beans, pimenton, and salt. Puree until smooth. With the machine running, add the garlic and oil from the skillet and work again until smooth. Add the water 1 teaspoon at a time until the puree is a spreadable consistency. Taste for seasoning and add more paprika or salt, if you like.

4. Spread each toast with 1 tablespoon of the bean mixture. Add a little crushed red pepper, and serve.

Joe Yonan

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