White Bean Crostini with Frizzled Sage

crostini

Fall has arrived, the temperatures are cooler and holiday entertaining is around the corner. Sometimes you need a little something for lunch or dinner or a nice hearty appetizer to serve your guests, these white bean crostini with frizzled sage will fit the bill!

Crunchy and warm crostini spread with smashed cannellini beans that have been infused with lots of flavor and topped off with a crispy sage leaf.

It’s warm and comforting, quick and easy to make and looks very impressive.

 

fried sage

You need to frizzle your sage in olive oil, just getting it to the point where it starts to crisp up and doesn’t turn dark brown. The sage infused oil is then the base for starting your beans.

white beans

Half of the beans will be smashed and the other half left whole. Canned beans are used in this recipe but you certainly can cook up your own pot of beans if you so desire but remember this is a fuss free recipe, one that you can whip up in no time.

So my advice would be to stock up your pantry with some canned cannellini beans so you’re ready when you need a spur of the moment topping for crostini.

crostini

Crispy charred bread that I toasted under the broiler are the perfect crunchy base for these creamy beans, which taste at their peek when warm, then each crostini is crowned with a frizzled sage leaf.

This is the time to take out your best quality olive oil and give each one a good drizzle to finish them off. How is it that something so simple can taste so good?

crostini board

You can eat them on their own with your favorite beverage, or place them onto a charcuterie platter with some other goodies.

crostini board

 

Deliciously simple, you’ll be a hit and they’ll all be devoured!

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White Bean Crostini with Frizzled Sage
 
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Ingredients
  • 2 cans of cannellini beans, drained
  • 2 cloves of garlic, smashed into a paste
  • ⅓ cup of onion finely minced
  • a pinch or so of red pepper flakes according to your liking
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • every day olive oil
  • a good quality olive oil for finishing
  • horizontally sliced baguette, drizzled with olive oil and put under the broiler to get toasted on each side, it goes fast so keep checking and don't walk away
  • enough fresh sage leaves to top each crostini and garnish the pot of beans
Instructions
  1. Toast your bread first as stated above and set aside.
  2. Depending on how many crostini your're making, first fry up a bunch of fresh sage in your everyday olive oil, enough to cover the bottom of the pan.
  3. You want the sage to be frizzled and not dark golden brown, set aside on paper towels.
  4. In same pan add the garlic and onion and saute until soft.
  5. Add in the drained beans, season with red pepper, salt and pepper.
  6. Cook beans on medium low, turning constantly until all the flavors meld together.
  7. Gently smash half on the beans right in the pan and leave the rest whole.
  8. Toss in some whole sage leaves for garnish right in the pan.
  9. Drizzle with good quality olive oil and taste for seasoning, it should be heavily seasoned.
  10. Spread warm beans onto toasted bread, garnish with one sage leaf, and give it a good drizzle with the quality olive oil.
  11. Enjoy!

 

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Cream of Wild Mushroom Soup with Asiago Cheese Bread

mushroom soup

When the weather turns with cooler temps the first thing I always want to make is a big pot of soup. This cream of wild mushroom soup is surprisingly easy to make, it’s comforting and cozy and has a rich complex flavor.

wild mushrooms

It’s made with a mix of wild and cremini mushrooms, some of which I purchased at an Asian market. By the way did you know that specialty mushrooms bought at an Asian market are a fraction of the cost that you would pay in a regular supermarket? So when I go I usually buy a bunch.

For this soup I combined cremini with oyster, king oyster, shiitake and brown beech. Using a mix of some of the wild varieties results in an earthy depth of flavor that would rival any gourmet soup, but honestly if you can’t find them just go with cremini as opposed to the white button mushrooms you see everywhere.

simmered mushrooms

Fresh thyme, shallots and garlic are the base for this soup with added broth for the mushrooms to soak up the flavors while they’re simmering in the pot.

mushroom soup

This soup is rich and elegant and can be served as a first course, a fantastic lunch or light dinner served with my cheesy Asiago toast.

pot of mushroom soup

There’s just a small amount of heavy cream swirled in at the end of cooking, it’s optional but I would highly recommend using it because it makes the soup exceptional!

For a nice presentation roast off some of the mushrooms and set aside to use for garnishing the top.

mushroom soup

This creamy wild mushroom soup can be a go to week night meal or fancy enough to serve during the upcoming holidays, and it only takes around a half hour to pull it together. It stays well in the fridge so it can be made a day or two ahead of time, then just heat it up and garnish!

cheese bread

If you need a little crunch factor on the side,

Spilt a baguette in half, drizzle with olive oil and place into a 400 degree oven just until it starts to get golden, then pull it out and spread shredded Asiago cheese all over with fresh chopped parsley or other herbs of your choice, then place under a broiler until it all melts.

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5.0 from 1 reviews
Cream of Wild Mushroom Soup with Asiago cheese Bread
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1½ to 2 lbs. mushrooms, a mix of wild along with cremini ( if unable to find wild mushrooms you can use all cremini) chopped.
  • additional mushrooms set aside for garnish that have been pre-roasted
  • 2 large shallots, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, grated on a microplane
  • broth, chicken or veggie, enough to cover the top of the sautéed mushrooms ( I used a little over a quart)
  • olive oil
  • butter
  • parsley and thyme
  • ¼ cup heavy cream ( optional but highly recommended!)
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. In a stock pot add a knob of butter and a drizzle of olive oil to the bottom of the pan.
  2. Add in the chopped shallots and garlic. Cook until they soften a bit.
  3. Add the chopped mushrooms, salt, pepper and fresh thyme.
  4. Cook mushroom mix until they soften up and all the flavors meld, around 15 minutes.
  5. Next, pour in enough broth to cover the top of the mushrooms.
  6. Bring to a slow boil then reduce heat and simmer uncovered for around 20-30 minutes.
  7. Use an immersion blender to whiz it up right in the pot to reach the texture you like, it will thicken up as you're doing this.
  8. Swirl in the cream, tasting and adjusting for seasoning, adding more thyme, salt and pepper if needed.
  9. Ladle into bowls and garnish with the roasted reserved mushrooms, chopped parsley and thyme.
  10. Enjoy!

 

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Swordfish with “Almost” Puttanesca Sauce

swordfish

Typically puttanesca sauce is made with anchovies, mine is not. I have to admit I’m not a lover of anchovies, never have been. But with that being said if you’re fond of them you can certainly add them into this pungent and delicious sauce to top off your swordfish.

Try to seek out swordfish if you can, it’s a nice meaty fish, firm to the touch with nice texture and it stands up really well to the strong and bold flavors of the sauce, but if you can’t find it, try a thick piece of cod or any other firm fish you like.

Puttanesca sauce is not a dedicate sauce by any means it contains briny olives, capers, garlic and spicy red pepper among other things.

 

puttanesca sauce

I like using fresh cherry tomatoes in my puttanesca sauce, they keep their fresh flavor pretty much all year long, I prefer them over canned tomatoes in this dish, to me it really makes a difference in the end result.

 

 

swordfish

This dish is easy to make with simple, quality ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry and fridge.

Perfect for Sunday dinner or even midweek because it doesn’t take long to get it on your table, serve it up with something green on the side like asparagus, green beans, spinach, kale or just a green salad of some sort.

swordfish

I promise you that if you do skip the anchovies like I did,  you won’t even miss them in this intensely robust sauce, it’s a winner anyway!

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5.0 from 1 reviews
Swordfish Almost Puttanesca
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 2 swordfish filets
  • FOR THE SAUCE
  • cherry tomatoes sliced lengthwise ( enough to fill your saute pan)
  • ½ onion chopped
  • 5 cloves of garlic, shaved
  • handful of kalamata olives
  • handful of sliced green olives
  • a small handful of capers, rinsed
  • small handful of chopped sundried tomatoes in oil
  • fresh parsley, chopped
  • wine or chicken broth to loosen the sauce
  • olive oil
  • knob of butter
  • zest of ½ lemon
  • red pepper flakes, optional or to your heat desire
  • sliced lemons for garnish
Instructions
  1. Salt and pepper each side of the fish.
  2. In a deep sided saute pan drizzled with olive oil and the knob of butter, brown the fish on each side for 2 minutes getting it nice and golden.
  3. Remove and set aside.
  4. In the same skillet add the onion and shaved garlic and cook till slightly golden and softened up, sprinkle with red pepper flakes to desired amount.
  5. Throw in your sliced cherry tomatoes with all the other remaining ingredients, olives, capers, sun dried tomatoes, lemon zest, parsley with salt and pepper to taste. Taste the sauce at this point to make sure it's flavored enough.
  6. Let it simmer low until it thickens up, if it gets too thick loosen it up with some broth or wine.
  7. again do a slow simmer until it thickens.
  8. When sauce thickens nestle your fish into the sauce.
  9. Cook it for an additional 5 minutes with a cover on the pan.
  10. Garnish with more chopped parsley, lemon slices and a drizzle with olive oil to finish it off.

 

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