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White bean bruschettaA purée of beans provides plenty of protein in this healthy snack idea from chef Paolo Vasapolli.

Bean bruschetta a protein-packed appetizer

We may not get out shopping as often as we normally would, but that’s no excuse to forego flavour, says Paolo Vasapolli, executive chef in Food and Catering Services.

As an example of what can be accomplished with a few pantry staples, he offers this recipe for an Italian-inflected dish that can serve as a snack or starter.

Bruschetta with white bean purée

Ingredients

  • 2 cups canned white beans, such as cannellini, navy, or great northern
  • 6 slices prosciutto, chopped
  • 1/4 cup onion, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped green onions
  • 8 slices of good-quality Italian bread

Instructions

  1. In frying pan, cook the prosciutto until browned.
  2. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and cook the onions until translucent. Add the minced garlic and cook for 1 additional minute.
  3. Add the beans, salt and pepper and mix.
  4. Cook for a minute or two to heat through.
  5. Using a fork, lightly mash the beans.
  6. Remove from the heat and add the chopped green onions.
  7. If the mixture seems dry, add a little more olive oil or water.
  8. Grill or broil the bread slices until they are golden brown on both sides.
  9. Top with bean mixture.

Optional: serve topped with a dollop of olive tapenade, roasted pepper strips, a drizzle of truffle oil, or a combination.

Vasapolli notes that omitting the prosciutto makes the dish suitable for vegans. Find more recipes — as well as a place to submit your own — on the Healthy Eating website.