This is another example of serendipity (serendipità) at work in the kitchen.
A little while ago, I cooked some beans (half a cup of dry beans) with the idea of puréeing them with leftover roasted onions. I did, and the result needed some punch.
I had previously roasted a pint of cherry tomatoes and used most, but not all, to dress a batch of gnocchi di ricotta (I always halve the original recipe, which comes from “The Zuni Cafe Cookbook” by Judy Rodgers and always use my homemade ricotta). I added the leftover tomatoes to the food processor where the bean and onion purée was, together with a few additional leaves of basil, and the result of a few seconds of whizzing was amazing. We enjoyed it on bread and on crackers (both homemade).
- half a cup of dry beans (canario or cannellini), soaked overnight and then cooked as described in this post
- half a cup of roasted onions with [balsamic] vinegar and rosemary (recipe from “Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone” by Deborah Madison)
- half a cup of roasted cherry tomatoes with basil (recipe below).
Process beans and onions until fairly smooth, then add the tomatoes and process briefly. Taste the spread and adjust salt, freshly ground pepper and fresh basil (basilico) before refrigerating. Take out of the fridge half an hour before serving.
I oven-roast halved cherry tomatoes at 350 F for 45 minutes (check them after 40 minutes). Before roasting them, I toss them lightly with a bit of olive oil and some slivered fresh basil. I don't use salt, due to an old personal preference. I then arrange them in one layer, cut side up, on a baking sheet lined with a silicone baking mat and place in the oven. When done, I spoon them onto or into their final destination.
I made the spread several times as described above, then tried an alternative for when I don't have leftover roasted onions with [balsamic] vinegar and rosemary. Warm up some olive oil in a small frying pan and add 3/4 cup chopped onion plus the leaves of a few sprigs of thyme. Cook until soft and add to the cooked beans, then proceed with the recipe as described above. The flavor of the resulting spread is different from the version described before, but still very good (at least that is what I think).
1 In Italy, cherry tomatoes are also referred to as pomodorini ciliegia and pomodori ciliegini.
This is my submission for My Legume Love Affair #26, the current edition of the popular, legume-centered event created by Susan, The Well-Seasoned Cook, which I have the honor of hosting.
In this post you will find the links to the two parts of the roundup.
Click on the button to hear me pronounce the Italian words mentioned in the post:
crema (da spalmare) di fagioli, cipolle e pomodori ciliegia
or launch the crema (da spalmare) di fagioli, cipolle e pomodori ciliegia audio file [mp3].
[Depending on your set-up, the audio file will be played within the browser or by your mp3 player application. Please, contact me if you encounter any problems.]
This looks lovely. A subtle spin that I turn to is to use sun dried tomatoes. They have a great, robust flavor and save on prep/cooking time since they're ready to use out of the container.
Posted by: Laura T. | August 27, 2010 at 07:53 AM
This sounds delicioso!!!
Posted by: bellini valli | August 27, 2010 at 08:01 AM
Yum, yum, yum!
Posted by: Paz | August 28, 2010 at 10:27 PM
Lovely! What a fabulous crostini topping.
Posted by: Foodycat | August 30, 2010 at 04:14 AM
What a lovely topper for bread. The food you prepare and present here is very interesting. I'll be back again to see what you've been cooking. I hope you are having a wonderful day. Blessings...Mary
Posted by: Mary | August 30, 2010 at 07:08 AM
I don't really understand this crema (da spalmare) di fagioli cipolle e pomodori ciliegia words but the only thing I know that it looks so yummy and I want to try those dishes.
Posted by: dining room table | August 30, 2010 at 10:41 PM
I have so many green beans and cherry tomatoes.... I wonder how that would work! Best way to find out is to try. Thanks for the roasting tip - I don't like to use salt either.
Posted by: katie | August 31, 2010 at 11:33 AM
Hi Laura. That sounds like a good idea, also useful when it's not tomato season.
Ciao Paz! ;)
Hi Foodycat. It's addictive, but it's so healthy that I don't mind.
Thanks, Mary, for the kind words.
Kind of wordy, I admit. It's just that in Italian we don't have a single word that conveys the concept of spread.
I think so, Katie. I wish I had all the cherry tomatoes you have. I am glad you are a kindred spirit when it comes to add salt to tomatoes.
Posted by: Simona Carini | August 31, 2010 at 03:31 PM
It sounds VERY good.
Looking forward to the round-up.
Posted by: Lori Lynn @ Taste With The Eyes | September 01, 2010 at 06:46 PM
Thanks, Lori Lynn!
Posted by: Simona Carini | September 05, 2010 at 10:41 PM