It’s so interesting how different the grocery prices are here in Nashville compared to my previous home in New Orleans. Most notably, canned beans are about half the price and grape tomatoes are so much more affordable! So today I whipped up this Garlic Toast with Balsamic Tomatoes and White Beans for lunch using those wonderful little tomatoes and some canned Cannellini beans.
Garlic Toast with Balsamic Tomatoes and White Beans
What Kind of Bread Should I Use?
A good sturdy artisan bread is the best vehicle for these saucy balsamic tomatoes and white beans. If you don’t want to do bread, you could always pile these jammy tomatoes and beans on top of a little pasta (any shape). Or, if you plan ahead, you can make some no-knead bread yourself for super cheap!
How to Serve Garlic Toast with Balsamic Tomatoes and White Beans
I priced these per toast and today I actually just ate the toast by itself (I had a large breakfast), but for a more full meal I suggest serving this with a nice green salad or even some roasted vegetables. The Garlic Toast with Balsamic Tomatoes and White Beans is more filling than it appears.
Garlic Toast with Balsamic Tomatoes and White Beans
- 4 slices hearty bread ($1.00)
- 1 large clove garlic ($0.08)
- 2 Tbsp olive oil ($0.26)
- 1 pint grape tomatoes ($1.69)
- 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar ($0.22)
- 1/8 tsp dried rosemary ($0.02)
- 1 Tbsp butter ($0.13)
- pinch salt ($0.01)
- 15 oz. can Cannellini beans ($0.69)
- 2 tsp Parmesan ($0.06)
- Place the sliced bread on a baking sheet. Slice the clove of garlic in half and rub the open face of the garlic over the surface of the sliced bread (leave the garlic peel on to make it easier to handle). Pour the olive oil in a small bowl, then brush it over the surface of the garlic rubbed bread. Set the bread aside and reserve the clove of garlic and leftover oil for the tomatoes.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, pour the remaining olive oil from the bowl into the skillet and swirl it to coat the surface. Add the grape tomatoes and allow them to cook, stirring only occasionally, until they blister, pop, and begin to lose their shape. The juices will brown and caramelize on the skillet.
- While the tomatoes are cooking, mince the garlic clove. Once the tomatoes have split open and lost their shape, add the minced garlic and continue to sauté for 1-2 minutes, or until the garlic is a little softened and has lost its raw edge.
- Turn the heat down to medium-low, add the balsamic vinegar and rosemary*, and stir and cook until the vinegar has dissolved any brown bits from the bottom of the skillet and it has thickened just slightly. Turn the heat down even further (to low), add the butter and a pinch of salt, and stir until the butter has melted into the sauce.
- Rinse and drain the Cannellini beans, then add them to the skillet. Stir them into the tomatoes and sauce, and allow them to heat through.
- While the beans are heating, turn the oven on to broil and place the baking sheet with the bread into the oven. Watch the bread closely as it broils and remove it from the oven when the top is golden brown (depending on how close the oven's rack is to the broiler, this may be only a few minutes).
- To serve, top each slice of bread with a hefty scoop of the tomatoes and beans, then add a pinch of Parmesan.
Step by Step Photos
Place four slices of hearty bread on a baking sheet. Slice a large clove of garlic in half (length-wise so there is a large cut surface) and rub the cut surface of the garlic over the surface of the bread. Pour 2 Tbsp olive oil into a small dish and then brush the oil over the surface of the bread. Set the prepared bread aside and reserve the garlic and leftover oil to be used with the tomatoes.
Heat a large skillet over medium, then once hot add the remaining olive oil (there should be at least 1 Tbsp). Swirl the skillet to allow the oil to coat the surface. Add one pint grape tomatoes and allow them to cook, stirring only occasionally, until they have blistered, burst open, and begun to lose their shape like in the photo above. While the tomatoes are cooking, mince the clove of garlic that was used to rub the bread.
Add the minced garlic to the skillet and continue to sauté for about 1-2 minutes, or just until the garlic softens and loses its raw edge. Turn the heat down to medium-low, and add 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar and a large pinch (about 1/8 tsp) of dried rosemary to the skillet (I like to crush the rosemary in my fingers so there are no large pieces).
Stir and cook the balsamic vinegar so that it dissolves all the browned bits from the bottom of the skillet and begins to thicken slightly. Once thickened (this should happen within a couple of minutes), turn the heat down further to low and add 1 Tbsp butter and a pinch of salt. Stir the butter in until melted.
Rinse and drain a can of Cannellini beans. Add them to the skillet with the balsamic tomatoes.
Stir until everything is combined, then let it heat through over low. While the beans are heating, turn the oven on to broil and transfer the baking sheet with the bread into the oven. Watch the bread closely and remove it from the oven once the surface of the bread is golden brown (depending on how close the oven’s rack is to the broiler, this could take only a few minutes).
To serve, spoon the balsamic tomatoes and white beans over each slice of bread and top with a pinch of Parmesan.