Ok, before I get started, I know some of you are afraid of beans. You see the title of this recipe, and you've already written it off because you have some legume fear, likely rooted in your childhood when you were forced to eat five. I understand, but hear me now: don't be afraid of beans. With their abundant protein, excellent fiber (ahem), and low cost, beans are simply a good idea. And if eating beans in their traditional state still scares you, using beans as this recipe does truly transforms them, maybe even to the point you forget you are eating them. Again, don't be afraid of beans.
And back to the recipe. From the basil to the lemon to the artichoke to the prosciutto, I think this combination of tastes and textures will make most any palate happy. Other than a food processor, which I consider a non-negotiable kitchen accoutrement, no fancy equipment is required. All ingredients can be found at your local grocery, though I will say that if you can, shop at Trader Joe's, particularly for its economically-priced prosciutto, Pecorino Romano and a larger bunch of basil (leaves some to spare for caprese salads or whatever floats your basil boat).
Following the recipe, I put the artichoke/bean mixture on crispy baguette slices, but you could also use it as a dip for crackers, veggies, or even as a spread on a sandwich. My roommate said the texture rivals hummus, so anything you would do with hummus, you can do with this.
Artichoke and White Bean Crostini
slightly adapted from Giada De Laurentiis
4 very thin slices prosciutto
15 (1/4 inch thick) baguette slices (cut at an angle)
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
1 (14.5-ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained
1 (15-ounce) can cannelini beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup grated Pecorino Romano
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil leaves
1 teaspoon lemon zest (always zest before you juice!)
3 teaspoons fresh lemon juice (approx. 1 lemon)
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- Put an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat to 375 degrees F. Place a silpat on a baking sheet (or spray with vegetable spray).
- Lay the prosciutto in a single layer on the silpat/prepared baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes until crispy. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes.
- On another baking sheet, arrange the bread slices in a single layer. Using a pastry brush, brush the bread with 1/4 cup of the olive oil. Bake at 375F until golden, about 12 to 15 minutes
- In a food processor, combine the artichoke hearts, beans, cheese, basil, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Pulse until the mixture is chunky. With the machine running, slowly add the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil. Spoon the mixture onto the crostini. Crumble the prosciutto and sprinkle on top. Drizzle with oil and serve.