Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Game On!

As I'm sure you're well aware, the Super Bowl is this Sunday.  I'll be the first to admit that I love a good Super Bowl party but I'm totally in it for the snacks.  And good company of course.  It's not unlike me to watch less than five minutes of the game and I don't think this year will be any different.  I just really have no interest in professional football but I do love me some football snacks!  One thing I've gotten good at over the past few years is well, two things, 1) I've learned to not totally pig out in the presence of all those yummy snacks.  Eating mindfully in any party situation is a wise move.  There's nothing like over doing it and feeling so gross and uncomfortable for the rest of the night.  I'm sure most of us have been there a time or two.  Instead I choose wisely, enjoy fully and stop before I've had too much. 2) I've learned to find snacks that aren't so super bad for us.  Not every party snack to pass has to be oozing and greasy and full of bad fats and empty calories.  Last year I made a Green Goddess salad and Nelsy made sushi to bring to the party.  The year before I made hummus and some other veggie type dip (can't quite remember).  This year I have not yet decided on what I will bring but I do have a stand by that is a hit every time.  White Bean Bruschetta.  I just love the stuff. I used a recipe as a guide the first time but put put my own spin on it.  If you want to change things up and make a healthy party snack that everyone will love, give this a try.
Start with 2 cans of white beans, drained and rinsed.  You can smash them up in a bowl with a fork but I find that this takes a little too long for my taste so I use my mini food processor.  You can use a regular food processor, a hand blender or whatever make quick work or mashing beans appliance you might have on hand. Or, a fork.
Next you mince up some fresh herbs.  Please use fresh herbs, they really make a big difference in a dish that doesn't get cooked.  Fresh herbs add so much flavor and the flavor is so much more vibrant than you get with dried herbs.  I like thyme and oregano.  Two fresh herbs I use all the time.
You want at least a teaspoon of herbs finely chopped.
Next chop about a 1/4 cup of red onion.  Chop it nice and small and add it to the beans along with the herbs.
Stir in a Tablespoon of red wine vinegar.  I really like to taste the vinegar, if you like, just add a couple of teaspoons and taste and add one more if you think it needs it.  If the mixture seems too dry add a tiny drizzle of olive oil.
Add a 1/2 tsp salt and some fresh cracked pepper to taste.
You could serve it out of the bowl with carrot sticks or pita chips but I like to slice a baguette, drizzle with olive oil and toast in the oven for a few minutes until lightly browned.  When they come out of the oven, I rub each slice with a clove of garlic.  Yum.

Then just top each piece of bread with the beans and enjoy.  This batch has a tiny piece of prosciutto on each one.  I felt like it was unnecessary, couldn't really taste it.  They taste great on their own without meat but I really like them with a little sliver of hard salami.  So if you feel like adding something new to the snack table, show up to your Super Bowl party with these.

White Bean Bruschetta 

2 14oz cans white beans, drained and rinsed
1 tsp chopped fresh herbs, oregano and thyme
1/4 cup red onion
1 Tbs red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp kosher salt
fresh cracked pepper to taste
sliced baguette for serving

Mash beans with a fork or food processor leaving some beans in tact.  Add herbs, vinegar, onion, salt and pepper.  Add a drizzle of olive oil to smooth out the texture if desired.  Serve over toasted baguette, plain or with a sliver of salami, or with carrot sticks and pita chips.

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