alive logo

Basil White Bean Toasts with Balsamic Syrup

Makes 4 toasts.


    Basil White Bean Toasts

    Kick up your lunch routine with these open-faced sandwiches that feature fetching stacked colour contrasts. More proof that basil and tomato are a dynamic duo. Eating toast was never so exciting.


    Dry Matter

    When nature gives you fresh sun-kissed basil in spades, consider drying some for use in cooking when the winter chill returns. Use kitchen twine to hang a bunch by the stems in a sunny location with good air circulation until the leaves crumble when pressed between your fingers. Pulverize the leaves using a mortar and pestle or food processor, and store in a cool, dark place for up to six months.


    Basil White Bean Toasts with Balsamic Syrup


    • 1 1/2 cups (350 mL) cooked or canned navy beans, rinsed and drained
    • 2 Tbsp (30 mL) extra-virgin olive or camelina oil
    • 1 cup (250 mL) basil, plus more for garnish
    • Juice of 1 lemon
    • 1 garlic clove, chopped
    • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
    • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) black pepper
    • 1/3 cup (80 mL) balsamic vinegar
    • 1 Tbsp (15 mL) honey
    • 4 slices whole grain bread, toasted
    • 4 thick slices tomato
    • 4 thin slices fresh mozzarella


    Per serving:

    • calories319
    • protein13g
    • fat11g
      • saturated fat3g
      • trans fat0g
    • carbohydrates42g
      • sugars10g
      • fibre10g
    • sodium386mg



    Place beans, oil, basil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper in food processor or blender container and blend until just slightly chunky.


    In small saucepan, simmer balsamic vinegar and honey over medium heat, uncovered, until syrupy and reduced to about 2 Tbsp (30 mL), about 5 minutes. Let cool.


    Spread bean-basil mixture on toast and top with a slice of tomato and mozzarella. Drizzle on balsamic syrup and garnish with fresh basil.



    SEE MORE »
    Salmon Tacos with Red Cabbage and Orange Slaw with Lime Yogurt
    Mussels with Tomato, Saffron, and Fennel

    Mussels with Tomato, Saffron, and Fennel

    B12-rich mussels are a very good and economical source of protein and iron. Steamed mussels are a classic way to enjoy seafood—and so is this rich, aromatic broth of tomato, fennel, and saffron. Be sure to allow saffron to fully infuse to get the full flavour benefit, and finish off the dish with the fragrant fennel fronds. Sustainability status Farmed mussels are considered highly sustainable due to their low impacts on the environment. They are easy to harvest, require no fertilizer or fresh water, and don’t need to be fed externally, as they get all their nutritional requirements from their marine environment. Mussel prep Selection: Look for mussels with shiny, tightly closed shells that smell of the sea. If shells are slightly open, give them a tap. Live mussels will close immediately. Storage: Keep mussels in the fridge in a shallow pan laid on top of ice. Keep them out of water and cover with a damp cloth. Ideally, consume on the day you buy them, but within two days. They need to breathe, so never keep them in a sealed plastic bag. Cleanup: In addition to being sustainable, farmed mussels tend to require less cleaning than wild mussels. Most of the fibrous “beards” that mussels use to grip solid surfaces will have been removed before sale. But if a few remain, they’re easily dispatched: grasp the beard with your thumb and forefinger and pull it toward the hinge of the mussel and give it a tug. Afterward, give mussels a quick rinse and scrub away any areas of mud or seaweed, which, with farmed mussels, will require minimal work.