Thursday, July 14, 2011

Cranberry Bean Bruschetta

Way back when, my sister introduced me to cranberry beans and a lovely little snack made with said beans.  She simmered the cranberry beans with garlic and water (and bacon or parmesan rind or tomato or...this recipe is flexible) with a sprinkling of sage at the end--perfect for topping little slices of toasted baguette.  The beans take a bit unfairly long to cook, at least 40 minutes, but if you have time, the result is savory and delicious.

So whenever I see healthy cranberry beans at the grocery store or farmers' market, I grab a bunch to make this cranberry bean topping.  Haha that's a lie. I love how that sentence made me seem like this person that cheerfully roams around markets with a cute little basket on her arm, blissfully caressing all the produce, having a little go-to recipe for each vegetable that she can make in her sleep. Whatever.  In the 10 years or so since my sister showed me this dish, I've made it about 4 times.  How's that for frequency.

You'll need:
  • 3/4 lb to 1 lb of fresh cranberry beans in the pod
  • Enough water or chicken stock to cover beans in small pot
  • 1 to 2 garlic cloves, smashed
  • About a 2-inch square piece of parmesan or one slice of bacon, diced
  • 1 or 2 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • About 5 medium-sized sage leaves, thinly sliced
  • Baguette slices, about 1/4-inch thick and toasted
Shuck your cranberry beans (is it shucking beans? Some other term? I don't know.).  Never seen a cranberry bean? Here you go.

Beautiful, aren't they? Well, enjoy those cranberry stripes while they last, they disappear in the cooking.

Place beans in a small pot with enough water to cover by 1/2 inch. Throw in the garlic cloves.  I threw in the parmesan later because I initially forgot it, but this would be the time to put in the parmesan rind or bacon (or hell, both).

Turn heat to high until water is boiling, then lower heat to a simmer.  Simmer, covered, for about 40 minutes or until beans are tender, checking every once in a while to make sure water doesn't get too low.

When beans are tender but not mushy, throw in the diced tomato.

Simmer, uncovered, for about 15 more minutes until the mixture is a nice brown color, and everything looks melded together.  Fish out the parmesan rind, if using, since it will be a floppy mess by now.

Sprinkle with sage, and load that topping on your crostini. Or bruschetta. I don't know the difference. I am talking out of my ass.

You can make this with other beans as well, and with dried beans. But don't expect me to give you directions on that.  I've only made this 4 times.



  1. Wow, I've never heard of cranberry beans, but that looks seriously tasty! I'll have to see if I can track some down at my grocery store!

  2. I've never heard of cranberry beans before either! But, I'm afraid I'm not a big bean fan, however - they look delicious.

  3. delicious! although one wonders why you limit yourself to only one slice of bacon...

  4. yummm! i'm going to try to make this. i love beans.

  5. This sounds so good! Like Jessica and Amanda, I'd never heard of cranberry beans before!

  6. I too have never heard of cranberry beans, but they are beautiful!

  7. I love to think about you skipping around the farmer's market. :)

  8. never heard of cranberry beans. i thought it would be bruschetta made of cranberries AND beans. but this looks much tastier! :P

  9. I came across your blog after searching the internet for cranberry bean recipes. I had never heard of them either. I only bought them because I saw them in the produce department yesterday! You're a funny writer with my kind of humor...truly enjoyed reading your blog!