While walking through my local international grocer, I came across some cranberry beans. Having never heard of them before, I bought a bag without a plan for a meal. When I got home, I started reading about how cranberry beans are from Columbia, look like a pinto bean once cooked, but go well in Italian food. A week later, I realized I could make an excellent toast with them. And thus, we have today's recipe.
This dish comes together very quickly, so it's great for a quick dinner or a weekend lunch. If you don't have cranberry beans, cannellini beans also would work well. I used sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil and herbs. If you would rather cut out the excess oil, you can use the sun-dried tomatoes in the bag. Just make sure to rehydrate them in warm water and drain before using in the recipe.
This dish is great alone or alongside a soup. It's hearty, fresh, and delicious!
Grape Tomato Cranberry Bean Sourdough Toast
⅓ cup sliced almonds
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 shallots, thinly sliced
5 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
⅔ cup sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil and herbs
1 cup cranberry beans
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
½ tsp fennel seeds
¼ cup fresh basil, leaves torn
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
½ cup almond ricotta (or another vegan ricotta)
2 thick pieces of sourdough bread, toasted
1. In a dry, large heavy pot or dutch oven, toast the almond slices over medium heat. Stir constantly until golden. Spoon onto a plate and set aside to allow to cool.
2. Place two thick pieces of toast in a toaster, toaster oven or on a grill. If you choose to grill, make sure to brush the bread with olive oil before placing on the grill. Toast to your desired level, and then, place on a plate and spread ricotta on top.
3. In the large, heavy pot or dutch oven, sauté shallots in olive oil over medium-high heat for 1 minute. Add the beans and garlic, and cook 2 minutes. Add sun-dried tomatoes, grape tomatoes, basil, fennel seeds, dash of salt, red wine vinegar, and cook 1 more minute. Taste and adjust seasonings.
4. Spoon cranberry bean mixture over toast, and top with toasted almonds.