This is the perfect appetizer for a warm summer evening. Fire up the grill and serve this bruschetta poolside with a cool glass of chardonnay or our beautiful “Garden Bloom” cocktail (see above)
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil; more as needed
4 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
2- 4 inch sprigs plus 1 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary
2 large ripe heirloom tomatoes cut into 1/2-inch dice (about three cups)
2 Tb chopped fresh mint
1 15-ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed well and drained
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1 to 2 Tb fresh lemon juice
Freshly ground black pepper
1 lb. baguette, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
Heat the oil, garlic and rosemary sprigs in a small saucepan over medium heat until they start to sizzle steadily and become fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Let the oil cool to room temperature. Strain the oil into a measuring cup (if making ahead, store in the refrigerator and use within 3 days).
Put the tomatoes in a medium bowl and toss with 3 Tb of the garlic oil, the mint and 1 tsp. salt.
Put the beans in a food processor and add about 6 Tb of the garlic oil, the Parmigiano, 1 Tb of lemon juice, the chopped rosemary, and 1/2 tsp. each of salt and pepper; puree until smooth. Season to taste with more salt and pepper and lemon juice.
Heat gas grill to medium-high heat or prepare a medium-hot charcoal fire. Brush both sides of the bread with the remaining garlic oil (if you run out, use plain olive oil to finish). Sprinkle lightly with salt. Grill the bread until crisp, with nice grill marks on both sides, 1 to 2 minutes per side.
Spread the grilled bread with the bean puree, top with a generous spoonful of the tomatoes and their juices, sprinkle lightly with pepper, and set out on a large platter for your guests to help themselves. Serves 10 to 12. Compliments: finecooking.com
Say a toast to your friends, enjoy the painted summer sky and watch the sun slip behind the ocean and out of sight.