Grape Tomato Cranberry Bean Sourdough Toast

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!

  Cranberry beans soaking in water.

Cranberry beans soaking in water.

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

salt

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. 

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