Rosemary Spiked Cannellini Crostoni
I became expert at this dish in my first years in Rome when my pocketbook was nearly always empty (no complaints on my side, I was a bartender thousands of miles away from the traditional life everybody expected of me and couldn’t have been happier) and when my curiosity to experiment with the marvels of Italian ingredients was always full. At the time we had a pressure cooker in the apartment that I shared with anywhere from 4 to 8 other (mostly French) foreigners at any given time depending on who had fallen in love or who had visitors in town. With the pressure cooker I made the cannellini starting with dried beans that I soaked overnight. Naturally, using dried beans and cooking them for hours is definitely optimal, but I have found that using a good can or even better, a glass jar of store-bought cannellini is still quite good, much much quicker and far easier. Once atop a piece of good crusty and toasted garlic-rubbed ciabatta bread and doused with some fruity extra virgin olive oil, any guests you invite to share them will never know how much you didn’t slave in the kitchen. I usually serve it as an appetizer but this dish, even just the rosemary cannellini without the bread, also makes a wonderful side for a grilled steak and green salad.