Hi there, are you looking for a nice appetizer to go along with your meal?  Well we were, we started looking for one and found it in Food & Wine’s annual cookbook of 1997 on page 16.  (By the way, this is the same dinner mentioned in Lena’s Homegrown Potato Salad.)  So look out, here it comes…

  • 20 1/4-inch thick slices cut diagonally from a baguette (we decided to skip that and buy already-made crisps, if you do that you don’t have to do the 1st step, but must heat up the crisps before you serve)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced (here we got a chunky garlic paste)
  • 2 cups cooked white beans, such as cannellini, rinsed if canned
  • 2 teaspoons minced thyme
  • Salt and ground pepper
  • 1 pound Swiss chard (by the way, despite how the name sounds, Swiss chard isn’t a cheese), leaves only, coarsely chopped and rinsed but not dried
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons white truffle oil
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Arrange the baguette slices on a baking sheet and brush lightly on both sides with 3 tablespoons of the olive oil.  Bake for about 8 min.,or until the bread is lightly browned.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large skillet.  Add the onion and garlic and cook over a low heat, stirring, until the onion softens, about 5 min.  Add the beans and cook, stirring, until heated through, about 3 min.  Scrape the mixture into a food processor or blender and puree until smooth.  With the machine on, add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil.  Transfer the bean puree to a bowl, stir in the thyme, and season with salt and pepper, keep warm.
  3. Wipe out the skillet and set it over a moderately high heat.  Add the Swiss chard and stir until wilted. Transfer the card to a colander, let cool slightly and then squeeze out excess liquid.
  4. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil in the skillet.  Add the Swiss chard and season with salt and pepper.  Cook over moderately high heat,stirring, until heated through.

Spread each toast with about 1 tablespoon of the bean puree and top with some of the Swiss chard.  Drizzle lightly with some truffle oil.  Serve warm or at room temp.

Onion and garlic

Onion and garlic

Mix in the beans

Mix in the beans

Puree in a food processor

Puree in a food processor

Wilt the Chard

Wilt the Chard

The final look

Bruschetta on a plate

Our Guest thought it was an interesting combination and the pureed beans gave it a nice flavor.  My mom said it was good and salty, but not real salty.  Then my dad said it was just right.  But I didn’t like it all that much, I suppose it’s because I’ve never been a big fan of mushy stuff.  It was the Puree that threw it off for me, the chard was alright, but the puree was too bland.  Also, I may have put on just a little too much truffle oil on.  But otherwise it was a nice dinner.

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