15 May 2008

Penny-pincher, meet gourmet.

My husband is a proud penny-pincher. He always says, "I am Marwari. I'm not going to let go of my money!" I've learned a lot about saving money from him, but I still have a long way to go I think!

Recently he looked in the pantry and saw that I had squirreled away at least 4 cans of cannellini beans. He doesn't like to feel like we are wasting money on stuff that isn't being used, so I was determined last night to make dinner based around cannellini beans. I looked at several recipes online, including pasta recipes, soup, stews, etc. I saw one recipe for white bean and butternut squash soup that looked good, and I also saw this recipe for white bean bruschetta:


I asked him if he'd rather have bruschetta or soup for dinner, and he chose bruschetta (sometimes it's fun to eat more "appetizer" things for dinner instead of a more classic meal). I kept thinking about the butternut squash in the soup recipe, and remembered that I had a half butternut squash in the fridge that was going to go bad if I didn't use it, so I decided to use the original bruschetta recipe as a jumping-off point. So I basically made a meal that kept two things from going to waste--the beans my husband was concerned about, plus the squash! Bonus! A dinner to please the penny-pincher who's also a gourmet.

The bruschettas with a glass of white wine made a nice, not too heavy dinner. V. liked it a lot and so did I. I'll have to remember this in the fall as an appetizer to bring to a party or something.

White Bean and Butternut Squash Bruschetta

1 1/2 cups butternut squash, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth, or water
1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 clove garlic, mashed
1 tsp minced sage leaves [the original recipe called for rosemary, which I didn't have]
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar [I used 1 tbs]
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes or to taste
fresh-ground black pepper to taste

In a small skillet over medium-high heat, saute the butternut squash in a little oil for a couple minutes, then add a half cup of broth or water and cook until the liquid has simmered away.

Gently toss together beans, squash, garlic, sage, olive oil, vinegar and red pepper flakes in a medium-size bowl, taking care not to break up the beans. Let the mixture stand, covered, for several hours at room temperature or until you are ready to serve.

Meanwhile, slice bread into 1/3 inch thick slices. Brush with olive oil and bake for 10 minutes or until edges begin to brown.

Taste the bean mixture and add salt, pepper, and more red pepper flakes to taste. Spoon the beans onto the slices and serve at room temperature.


Melissa said...

this sounds great! bruschetta is so much fun to experiment with, isn't it?

D. Jain said...

It sure is! I love using ratatouille for bruschettas too, this time of year.