Bruschetta with Balsamic Burst Tomatoes & White Beans

Tuscan white beans, also known as Cannellini beans or simply white beans, fall in the category of complex carbohydrates. Not only do they offer a good dose of fiber, but the fiber they contain accounts for approximately one-quarter of the total carbs in a half-cup serving. The high fiber content of beans helps you feel full. It also slows digestion, which can help prevent blood sugar spikes. With their impressive levels of fiber, protein, and micronutrients, this major player in the Mediterranean diet, offers a number of health benefits.

This creamy legume adds nutrition to salads and sides, and velvety depth to soups. With their mild flavor, cannellini beans are a versatile ingredient that can make their way into a surprising variety of recipes. Unlike other softer beans, cannellini beans retain their shape even when cooked. These convenient, beneficial beans are definitely a staple in my pantry.

This flavorful shallot, burst tomatoes and balsamic vinegar sauce is one of my favorite condiments to make because I use it with so many things. This sauce enhances everything it touches, from poached chicken to pasta, and grain bowls to eggs. It’s a perfect pairing for this bruschetta.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Pint (2 cups) cherry tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons Extra-Virgin Olive Oil, divided
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon (or more) Balsamic vinegar
  • Rustic bread, cut into 1-inch thick slices
  • Extra-virgin Olive oil (for a generous drizzle on toasted bread)
  • Cannellini beans
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Ricotta (whole milk)
  • Italian parsley, torn

To make the Balsamic Burst Tomatoes:

  1. Cut half of the cherry tomatoes in half and set aside. Using a medium-size sauté pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil and sauté the shallots 4 minutes or so, until softened. Add all of the tomatoes to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until they begin to burst and release their juices, 5-6 minutes. Smash some of the tomatoes with a spoon to release a bit more juice.
  2. Add 1 tablespoon of vinegar and remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Taste and add more vinegar if desired. Set aside. The sauce is served warm or room temperature.

To make the Bruschetta:

  1. Toast or grill both sides of bread, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt.
  2. If you’re using beans that are in your frig, you might want to warm them a bit, however if you are opening a new can, I just rinse and drain them before using.
  3. Spoon beans on toast, top with tomatoes. Grate Parmesan over toast. Top with a dallop of ricotta and torn pieces of parsley.

Enjoy at room temperature. I served this with slices of Tuscan melon (looks like cantaloupe but tastes much better).

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