appetizers and snacks

Crostini with White Beans, Olives and Anchovy

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I first saw this recipe presented on Gordon Ramsay’s television show, “Ultimate Cookery Course”, which is airing on BBC America lately.  The pictures and ingredients of this recipe spoke to me instantly.  I mean, I love hearty white beans, black olives, parsley, and, in small quantities, anchovies too.  Although, I’m not sure I would have ever put them all together on my own.   

This post leads me to tell you something that I’m certain you don’t know about me: I am a huge Gordon Ramsay fan.  I’ve followed his television shows and antics for years now.  However, I’ve never tried to cook up any of his recipes…I know, weird, right?  This fact is due to lack of preparation and time, and not lack of interest.  

Well, for my post-birth, come-back post here on Little Fish, I’m sharing about my first attempt at making one of many Ramsay recipes that have caught my attention.  

In his presentation of the recipe, he serves the bean mixture as a topping on grilled ciabatta bread as an open-face sandwich.  He classifies this dish as a brunch meal.  In my adaptation of this dish, I chose to serve this powerfully flavorful recipe in smaller portions as an appetizer.  The flavors are delicious, but very, very strong.  A larger portioned sandwich with these ingredients may have been a bit too much for me.

Overall, I thought the recipe was quite tasty and it was a nice change of pace for us on a typical Monday night. However, the taste of the filling is pungent, especially after being topped with the anchovies. This dish is probably not weeknight, bowling team fare…it’s likely best served to a crowd who enjoy such unique, sharp flavors.  But, it sure is pretty to look at, isn’t it?   

Crostini with White Beans, Olives and Anchovy 

  • 1 (15 oz) can white beans with some of the can juices reserved (I used canned Great Northern beans as I had them on hand.  Ramsay used canned Cannellini beans)  
  • 1/2 cup sliced black olives 
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped Italian parsley 
  • a few tablespoons of roughly chopped anchovies 
  • One French baguette, cut into 3/4 inch slices for toasting 
  • Extra virgin olive oil

    1.  In a medium sized sauce pan, heat the beans and then lightly mash them with a fork.
    2.  Add in the black olives and parsley and remove the pan from the heat; set aside.
    3.  Lightly drizzle the bread slices with olive oil and toast them.  If you have a grill pan, grill the slices until they are slightly toasted.  If you don’t have a grill pan, use your oven.
    4. Top your toasted bread slices with a tablespoon or two of the bean mixture.  Top with a few chopped anchovies.
    5.  Enjoy. 

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