I have simple, splendid, how can something this easy taste this good Tuscan White Bean Tomato Toasts with Garlic and Tomatoes for you today! This easy-yet-excellent recipe is in honor of the country to which Ben and I took off last night: ITALY!!! (Follow me on Instagram for updates.)
Yes friends, assuming the TSA let me through security with my big bag of snacks, as this post goes to press we are in the Cinque Terre, our first stop en route to Tuscany.
Remember two weeks ago when I cryptically mentioned that I have a few Big Exciting Things in the works? This trip is one of them!
I hope we are enjoying an ocean view, full glasses of wine, and a meal like these white bean toasts with garlic and tomato.
I hate to call this recipe easy, because that makes it not seem special.
Here’s the thing though: it is easy. And it is special.
Why I Love These Tuscan White Bean Toasts
For me, these Tuscan-inspired toasts exemplify what I most adore about Italian cooking: straightforward, uncomplicated, and beautiful ingredients uniting to become greater than their individual parts. (I feel the same way about this Italian Tuna Salad.)
Fruity olive oil. Juicy tomatoes. Creamy cannellini beans. Thickly sliced, fluffy, crusty bread. What more could I ask for?
The topping for these smashed white bean toasts is a twist on Tuscan white bean ragout, which typically takes several hours to cook. I cut that time down to 20-ish minutes by using canned cannellini beans in place of dry. I have no regrets.
The beans are still delightfully creamy. When combined with the olive oil, garlic, and the caramelized juices from the burst cherry tomatoes, they transform into the kind of meal that you almost never get around to sitting down to eat because you fill up munching it right from the pan.
Do try to save some of white bean topping for the toast though because BREAD.
Take a lesson from the Italians and don’t skimp here. Treat yourself to a good quality artisan loaf, slice it thickly, and savor every bite.
- To Make Dairy Free and Vegan. Omit the Parmesan or swap it for the same amount of nutritional yeast.
- To Make Gluten Free. Make sure you’re using a gluten free bread.
How to Store Tuscan White Bean Toasts
- To Store. Once topped, these toasts are best enjoyed right away. The bean and tomato mixture, however, can be stored on its own in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- To Reheat. Rewarm leftover topping on the stove over medium-low heat or gently in the microwave. Toast and top the bread just before serving.
I’ll be doing my best to keep my laptop away during our trip, but you can follow along with our adventures on Instagram, especially my stories. Buon appetito!
Tuscan White Bean Tomato Toasts
- 4 slices of thick, good quality whole wheat bread
- 3 tablespoons plus 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 small shallot finely chopped
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes (2 cups, left whole)
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 3 cloves minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 15-ounce can reduced sodium white (cannellini) beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan plus additional to taste
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
- Place a rack in the upper third of your oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Arrange the bread in a single layer on a parchment lined baking sheet. Brush each side with 1/2 teaspoon olive oil. Bake for 5 minutes, then flip the slices and return to the oven. Continue baking until the bread is nicely toasted, about 5 additional minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.
- Meanwhile, heat the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large, nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the shallot, tomatoes, salt, and pepper. Let cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes break down and their juice begins to caramelize in the skillet, about 10 to 12 minutes. Stir in the garlic, red wine vinegar, and honey. Let cook 30 seconds, or until just fragrant, then stir in the white beans. Let cook 1 to 2 minutes, until the beans are warmed through. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired. I like to leave the beans like this, but if you like, you can lightly smash them for a more creamy topping.
- To serve, arrange the toasted bread slices on plates. Top with generous spoonfuls of the tomato bean mixture, then sprinkle with Parmesan and thyme. Enjoy immediately.
- Once topped, these toasts are best enjoyed right away. The bean and tomato mixture, however, can be stored on its own in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Rewarm on the stove and top the bread just before serving.
- To make dairy free (and vegan), omit the Parmesan or swap it for the same amount of nutritional yeast. To make gluten free, use gluten free bread.
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