Says renowned Dutch chef Yolanda van der Jagt, "In Italy, they serve this puree with roast pork. I like to smear it on crostini or bruschetta, which I top with thinly sliced dried raw ham. I also make a vegetarian version, with curly shavings of pungent pecorino cheese. Serve with a mixed green salad on the side for a delicious starter."
The combination of flavors work really well and the ingredients can be found on most good Dutch farmers' markets.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Soak the beans overnight: 24 hours
Total Time: 25 hours, 20 minutes
Yield: Serves 4-6
- 7 oz (about 1 cup) dried borlotti beans (200 g)
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small red onion, peeled
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 sourdough French bread
- 3.5 oz (about 2/3 cup) dried ham or Prosciutto di Parma (100 g), thinly sliced
- You will also need:
- Food processor
Soak the borlotti beans in a large pot with plenty of water for at least 24 hours. Pour off the soaking liquid and place the beans in a sieve. Rinse well under streaming cold tap water.
In a large pot with plenty of salted water, bring the borlotti beans to the boil. Turn the heat down low and cook the beans for one hour, until tender. Discard the cooking liquid and puree the beans and garlic smooth in a food processor. Now add the olive oil, salt and pepper, to taste. Blitz again. Add a little water to the mixture - just enough for it to be spreadable.
Meanwhile, cut the onion into thin rings and allow to marinade in the balsamic vinegar for five minutes.
Heat a griddle pan or preheat the oven to 347 degrees F (175 degrees C). Slice the bread thinly and toast until golden and crunchy. You can also rub the warm bread with some garlic. Spread the puree on the crostini and top with the onion rings and ham. Serve immediately.