Monday, February 20, 2012

Recipe: White Bean Spread on Crostini

Did you know that Saturday was National Drink Wine Day? True story. A quick google search later, it looks like every day is some sort of special day dedicated to a particular food or beverage. Wednesday is National Margarita Day. Salud! My birthday (June 20) is National Vanilla Milkshake Day. Sweet!

Anyhoo, we kicked off National Drink Wine Day a little early with dinner with three good friends on Friday night. I whipped up this white bean spread in just a few minutes while bread slices were toasting away in the oven. It is a nice bite to accompany almost any type of wine and a great start to our meal. 

White Bean Spread on Crostini

White Bean Spread on Crostini
Makes ~24 crostini

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
Salt and pepper
1 (15 ounce) can cannellini (white kidney) beans, drained and rinsed
1 clove of garlic, peeled
Juice of 1 lemon, approximately 2 tablespoons
2 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped and divided

To make the crostini:
Preheat oven to 350ยบ F. Slice baguette into slices and place in a single layer on a baking sheet. Brush both sides of the bread slices with 1 tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake until bread begins to brown, approximately 10 minutes, flipping slices halfway through. Remove from oven and let cool. 

To make the white bean spread: 
Combine 1/2 of the cannellini beans, garlic clove, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon parsley in a large food processor. Process until smooth, adding a little water if needed. Add remaining beans and pulse until combined but not totally smooth.

To finish the appetizer:
Spread each crostini with a large spoonful of the white bean spread. Drizzle with remaining tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle with remaining tablespoon of parsley.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Menu: Fast, Fancy Dinner

Happy Valentine's Day!

If you happen to need a quick, easy, and impressive dinner menu, today or any other day, I put together a mix-and-match menu for you. The ones with asterisks are or can be made vegetarian/vegan.

You're welcome.

Appetizer: Artichoke and Green Olive Spread* or Cream Cheese and Salsa Spread*
Salad: White Bean and Spinach Salad* or Spicy Salad
Dinner: Chicken in Thyme Marsala Cream Sauce over rice or Cherry Tomato Spaghetti all'Amatriciana* w/ garlic bread or Avocado Pasta*
Dessert: One-Minute Mug Browniesor Fresh Fruit with Fruit Dip*