bruschetta and tuscan white beans

I love simple meals that only require a few ingredients and minimal prep work. It’s recipes like these where the true flavor of food can really shine, which is why it’s important to make sure you are using the freshest ingredients possible. Do not use the tomatoes you bought from the grocery store a week ago. Do not use eggplant that’s been sitting in your refrigerator for so long you’ve forgotten about it. Do not use dried herbs. Trust me. Oh, but do have a glass of wine while you prepare this delicious dinner.

Tuscan White Beans

1 can white beans, such as Great Northern Beans or Cannellini Beans

2 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped fine

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

salt to taste

Drain and rinse the white beans. Combine beans, rosemary, olive oil and salt in a bowl. Stir to combine.

You can refrigerate and serve cold or at room temperature. The longer you let the dish sit, the more the flavors will come together. This was the first thing I made, and I let the flavors meld while I made the bruschetta.

Tomato Basil Bruschetta Topping

1 lb tomatoes, diced

2 tbsp fresh basil, chiffonade (cut into thin strips)

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

Combine diced tomatoes, basil and olive oil in a bowl. Add a generous pinch of salt and some fresh ground black pepper and stir to combine. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed. Sit to the side and let the flavors come together while you make the final recipe.

Mushroom Eggplant Bruschetta Topping

1/4 lb mushrooms, chopped fine (I used oyster mushrooms, feel free to use your favorite)

1 small eggplant, diced fine

1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped fine

2 tbsp red wine (use whatever wine you like to drink)

salt to taste

Heat the olive oil in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and eggplant and stir. Cover and let cook for 10 minutes, or until the mushrooms and eggplant are soft and the mushrooms are starting to turn golden. When the mushrooms and eggplant are almost done, add the wine and the parsley and stir to combine. Remove from heat and add salt to taste.

This can be served warm or at room temperature.

Once your bruschetta toppings are prepared, it’s time to prep the bread.

1 loaf french or italian bread

1 clove garlic, cut in half

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Cut bread into slices 1″ thick. Toast bread on each side using the broiler or a grill. Watch closely, as the bread can burn very quickly. Rub one side of each piece of bread with the garlic and then brush with the olive oil.

I served all of this family style and let everyone top their bread however they liked. Quinn preferred to eat his bread and tomatoes separately, while Matt piled his tomatoes on as high as they would go.

These recipes are so easy, even if you don’t cook, you should have no problem putting these together. Simple recipes showcasing delicious flavors. A perfect summer meal.

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