white bean & rosemary crostini with sopressata and parmesan

by Michael on March 18, 2012 · 18 comments

For a week steady now the climate outside has closely resembled spring, with the warmer temperatures and birds carolling transporting us to a place far removed from winter’s clutch. Even with winter lacking the usual ferocity and durability of season’s past, the warm weather has been welcomed with the usual fanfare reserved for a later arrival. You can see it in the streets, with families and children back outside and bicycles, stored away for months in safe keeping, back on the roads again. And the local market has been flooded with visitors for the first time since fall.

Spring hits you earlier each day. First thing this morning the warm early morning air filtered in through our half-open windows. We lay in bed for a few extra minutes enjoying the breeze that gets pushed in from the woods out back. And every once in a while a gust makes it way across the room and against our face. It’s the perfect way to be greeted, a steady stream of hope ushering in the morning.

After a few minutes spent enjoying the breeze we were up to take full advantage in the day. With one minor adjustment. W injured her ankle yesterday, spraining it and in the process causing some swelling and bruising. We iced it and this morning I bandaged it up. That meant rest and no weight on the foot at all. At least by my orders. But W loves the first signs of spring and the chance to soak up the first warm air of the season, so I helped her down the stairs gingerly and outside where she could rest and read.

When it came time for something to eat I grabbed some of the ingredients picked up at the market yesterday, including rosemary, an artisan baguette from a local bakery, thinly sliced sopressata, pearl red onions and some Parmesan. I spent the next few minutes in the kitchen with all the windows around me pushed as far open as they could go. It had felt like forever since I last cooked with all the windows up, the fresh air swirling all around me. It’s the rebirth of fresh.

I knew early on in our relationship that W had a love for small finger foods and crostinis. On our first date we passed on main courses for a series of appetizers. Ever since then we debate skipping on one big course for a few smaller ones each time we head out. And on the days when we plan our menu for the weekends, she likes starting the meal with an app. Like this one.

The weather outside masquerading as spring. The just-forgotten scents, noises and warmth comes flooding back. The heavy, comforting meals of winter will soon be a memory, replaced with lighter fare and smaller meals. And shortly our ritual will undergo a metamorphosis, leaving behind the comfort of home for the calling of spring.


From my kitchen to yours,



White Bean & Rosemary Crostini with Sopressata and Parmesan


  • 12 slices baguette, cut on the bias
  • olive oil, for brushing
  • 1 garlic clove, halved, for the baguette
  • 1 can cannellini beans, soaked
  • 1 sprig of rosemary, finely chopped
  • 4 slices of sopressata, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 red pearl onions, finely chopped
  • 4 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. sea salt & ground black pepper
  • 12 slices of soppressata, for serving
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan, shaved, for serving
  1. Drain the white beans and rinse under cold running water for 1 minute.
  2. Use a medium-sized saute pan over medium heat and add 2 tablespoons of oil. Once the oil is hot add in the sopressata and cook for 1 minute. Stir the sopressata and add in the onion and garlic and cook for 2 minutes and then add in the white beans, rosemary and stir. Add in the balsamic vinegar and lemon juice and season and stir until the beans are completely heated.
  3. Remove from heat and put in the food processor and pulse until smooth. Adjust for desired consistency (add a bit of water if you want it thinned a bit) Season to taste.
  4. Heat a grill pan over high heat. Brush the baguette slices with the remaining olive oil and grill until golden, working in batches, about 1 minute per side. Rub each slice with the cut garlic and then spread the bean mixture over top.
  5. Serve warm a slice Sopressata and shaved Parmesan.













Leave a Comment

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Miss T March 18, 2012 at 2:06 pm

I love that for a couple of days of the year, northern and southern hemisheres share similar weather. We are heading into winter months here in Aus, but the sunshine and temps are beautiful. Hope the ankle gets better soon! yay to the white bean!
T x


Cookin' Canuck March 18, 2012 at 3:21 pm

This is the kind of meal I could happily snack on all day long. I am in complete agreement with W – lots of little tastes are so satisfying.


mom March 18, 2012 at 7:02 pm

looks so yummy


Meeta March 19, 2012 at 5:30 am

Oh how simply divine M.! This is the perfect little luxury treat for two. I love making these kind of nibbles for my husband & myself. He#s away for 10 days stint working in Stockholm and is home every other weekend to twosome-time is important. This will be on my menu next time! Awesome!


Brian March 19, 2012 at 12:30 pm

Pure magic… This is one of those recipes that makes you sigh with joy. I really love this.

In other news, this weather is CRAZY!!! Seriously, I can’t believe how it’s already in the 70s here and it’s going to hit 80 mid week! Crazy! AND we barely got snow! Global warming is definitely a reality. Scary.


SMITH BITES March 19, 2012 at 1:03 pm

i am sooooo w/you both on the smaller finger foods – this is perfect Mike, just perfect!!


Berlin Lunchbox March 19, 2012 at 1:18 pm

Great mid-day snack, or light lunch!

You have a really great way of capturing the mood of this dish.

Looking forward to trying it out!


Wendy Lewicki March 19, 2012 at 5:41 pm

Delish!!! xoxo


Roxana GreenGirl { A little bit of everything} March 19, 2012 at 6:56 pm

I’d go for a few appetizers as well and skip the main meal. There’s something about these flavorful little treats and makes you grab “just one more”
Beautiful photos Mike


Carolyn March 20, 2012 at 11:25 am

It’s been ever so long since I stopped by your blog, Mike. That’s what I hate about getting so busy…losing sight of the people I have connected with previously. I do love white beans and rosemary together. This is good stuff, my friend.


Deb March 21, 2012 at 12:17 pm

An exceptional pairing of rosemary with cannelloni beans and soppressata! A marvelous appetizer to share with those who mean so much in our lives. This will be perfect for conversation on our patio in the early spring sunshine.


Peter G | Souvlaki For The Soul March 21, 2012 at 7:12 pm

Crostinis are just the best! I could easily eat many in one go! Love the beans, the Parmesan and the cured meat…fantastic combo!


Rosie @ Sweetapolita March 22, 2012 at 10:38 am

These are gorgeous. I completely agree with both you and W about lovely finger foods and apps. I could live on small bites alone (and dessert, of course). The flavours here are incredible–they really call to the Maltese in me : ) My dad was always serving up this sort of treat while I was growing up, and I share his love for strong flavours (and baguettes, of course). Love this.


Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic March 23, 2012 at 1:35 pm

I love the simplicity of this meal. I can imagine packing it up for a nice spring picnic too!


marla March 24, 2012 at 9:09 am

Sorry to hear about W’s ankle. Hopefully it will heal up quickly. Love all kinds of dips + spreads over here too. I can see spring bursting through your beautiful photos :)


Brandon @ Kitchen Konfidence March 30, 2012 at 12:09 pm

Oh my, this is making me super hungry right now. I love white bean dip and I love salty cured meats. The two together are a mouth-watering combination!


Christine (Cook the Story) February 26, 2013 at 12:42 pm

I know what you mean about cooking with the windows open. When I lived in Canada, that was a sure sign of spring. Now, living in Florida, it’s a sure sign of winter! I love it either way. And I love crostini. I’ve never thought of adding meat to a bean spread. Delicious idea. Thanks for sharing. So happy I found you via Pinterest!


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