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.
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:
or launch the crema (da spalmare) di fagioli, cipolle e pomodori ciliegia audio file [mp3].
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