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White Bean Crostini with Primo Sopressa and Fennel

This dish is great finger food at a party, or a wonderful light lunch paired with a crisp watercress salad. If you’re preparing it last minute, you can use a good quality tinned cannelini bean, but the flavour and texture won’t be quite as good.
Meal:Dinner
Time:Preparation Time: 15 minutes (plus 1 day for soaking the beans) Cooking Time: 40 minutes
Serving:

Ingredients

½ baguette, sliced
Olive oil, for brushing
1 garlic clove
20 slices Primo Sopressa
125 g dried cannelini beans, soaked overnight in cold water
1 large garlic clove
Juice and zest of ½ lemon
3 sprigs thyme, leaves picked
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 bulb fennel
Sugar
White wine vinegar
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Flat leaf parsley, leaves picked

Directions

For white bean puree, place the beans in a saucepan and cover completely with cold water. Bring to the boil over medium heat and cook until the beans are tender (about 30 minutes). Drain, cool slightly, then process in a food processor with juice and zest of lemon, a chopped clove of garlic and thyme leaves. Gradually add the extra virgin olive oil to form a smooth puree. Season to taste. Keep warm. Remove the outer layer of the fennel, slice in half and then thinly slice on a mandolin. Dress the fennel slices with salt, sugar and plenty of white wine vinegar. Toss the mixture with your hands so the mixture is evenly distributed and set aside for about 10 minutes. Heat a char-grill pan over medium-high heat. Brush the baguette slices with olive oil and grill in batches until the bread is charred and golden. Rub each piece lightly with a garlic clove. Remove the fennel from it’s vinegar bath and squeeze out all the excess liquid, salt and sugar. Spoon a little of the white bean puree onto the baguette slices, place a piece or two of the pickled fennel on the puree and top with a slice of sopressa. Finish with some parsley, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a good crack of black pepper.

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