Bruschetta is a favorite Italian appetizer made with tomatoes, basil and parmesan cheese. But today, the chefs from Indian Harvest give it a healthy and flavorful twist by pairing slow-roasted Tomatoes with garlic, basil, Lima beans and Feta cheese to make these scintillating version of Bruschetta, which will surely impress your guests. Indian Harvest is a food company providing specialty products like whole grains, legumes, pasta and multigrain blends that are healthy and delicious, just like the Lima Beans used in this recipe. It may sound like an unusual pairing at first, but the earthy taste and texture of the roasted tomatoes compliments the starchy lentils quite nicely, giving you a mouthful in every bite. In fact, I find this recipe to be so versatile, that you can use with any other baked beans too, like Black beans or Pinto beans or White Beans to make your own favorite Bruschetta.
Lima Beans, also known as “butter beans” because of their starchy yet buttery texture, Lima beans have a delicate flavor that complements a wide variety of dishes. They have a very high fiber and protein content, and can lower your risk of heart attacks and diabetes. Fresh Lima beans are available in Summer and Fall, so you can go find these at your Farmer’s Market this weekend, so you can use dried and canned beans if you like. However, fresh green beans have a much more nuttier taste, and you can use them to make several types of soups and curries.
If you haven’t tried slow-roasted tomatoes before, then seriously, you are missing something in your life! The smell of ripe juicy but firm tomatoes as they roast in the oven with a dash of salt, pepper and olive oil, maybe a hint of vinegar, maybe a few cloves of garlic – yum, just the description sounds mind-boggling, so you can imagine how good they actually taste! However, if you don’t have 3 hours to fire up your oven, then don’t worry, just kick it up to 350 instead and your tomatoes will be done in about 45 minutes. Anyways, they are great with Pasta, Salads, or even as Sides by themselves, and they sure bring a zest of flavor to this Bruschetta recipe.
Bruschetta with Slow Roasted Tomatoes & Lima Beans
Prep Time: 3 hours 20 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
8 oz. of fresh or canned Peruvian Lima Beans
1 loaf French Bread, sliced
6 large firm tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup olive oil
salt, pepper & sugar – sprinkle to taste
2 cloves of garlic, minced
3 cups fresh basil, loosely packed, julienned
1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese or feta cheese
Boil the Lima beans if you are using them fresh until soft and cooked, but not too mushy. Or follow the instructions on your packaged dried beans. If using canned beans, they are already pre-cooked, so you don’t need any prepping here. Drain the water from the cooked beans and allow to cool.
Slice the French-bread and line them on a baking sheet. Brush with olive oil if desired. Bake at 350°F until lightly toasted.
Place tomato halves on sheet pan, cut side up. Generously drizzle olive oil over tomatoes. Sprinkle tomatoes with salt and sugar to taste. Roast at 250°F for approximately 3 hours. Remove from oven and allow them to cool long enough to handle.
Remove any residual seeds from the roasted tomatoes, and chop them finely. Add them to a bowl, along with minced garlic, chopped basil and the pre-cooked Lima beans. Season with salt and pepper, according to your taste.
Spread the mixture on prepared french bread, top with goat cheese crumbles and serve immediately, while still warm.