It has been a real whirlwind spring so far. I’ve been really busy with work (a good thing) and in our spare time we’ve been revamping the back yard, tearing out shrubs, expanding the patio, making some raised bed gardens (an even better thing). Cooking has temporarily taken a back seat. However, this past Sunday a rare thing happened, I had no work appointments, our backyard project was completed, and I had no soccer game which meant I had time to get a little creative. I came up with a great appetizer to snack on while sitting in the afternoon sun: white bean bruschetta with some duck skin crackling.
I’m not really sure what moved me to make this dish. I think it was the simply the idea of building something from scratch after too many dinners out recently, but regardless of the muse it felt great to be in the kitchen cooking again. While quick-soaking the beans I made the cracklings which is actually really easy. Slice up the duck skin, put in a pan over med-high heat, and add a ¼ C of water. As the fat renders from the skin the water evaporates and the skin crisps up in its own fat. After an hour both items were prepped and ready for the final stage. All I needed to do was cook the beans until tender and figure out what to mix with them. Not a difficult task.
While there are many moving parts to this recipe it’s pretty simple and you can cut some corners if you like (canned white beans, crispy bacon). The next time I make something like this I may experiment a little with some herbs from the newly planted backyard garden. Maybe some fresh tarragon, thyme, or lavender will make this white bean bruschetta with duck crackling even more decadent than it already is! However you personalize this simple appetizer it’s sure to be a good addition to your summertime outdoor entertaining repertoire.
White Bean Bruschetta with Duck Skin Crackling
- 2 C cooked white beans
- 1 Tbs chopped green olives
- 2 small chili peppers diced
- 1 Tbs chopped parsley
- 1 Tbs lemon juice
- 1 Tbs olive oil
- 1 Tbs diced shallots
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 6-8 slices of your favorite bread toasted/grilled, Italian, baguette, boule
- 1 garlic clove
- Duck crackling (or some crispy bacon if you have no duck skin lying around)
- Olive oil for drizzling
Using a fork, lightly mash the beans in a bowl. You don’t need to totally mash them, just enough to make a rough paste. Add the olives, peppers, parsley, lemon juice, olive oil, and shallots to the mashed beans and mix. Add salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Grill your bread slices on both sides so they get good grill marks and turn a nice shade of brown. Lightly rub one side with the garlic clove. One or two passes is sufficient, don’t go crazy or the garlic will overpower everything.
Spoon the white bean mixture onto the toasted bread and spread evenly. Top with some duck cracklings, or crumbled bacon. Finish by drizzling some olive oil over the top of the bruschetta.