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Beans on toast

White Beans on Toast

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x


Serving beans on toast makes them a meal! This simple, sophisticated recipe pairs white beans with garlic, broccoli rabe, and Parmesan cheese.


  • 2 cups dried great Northern beans (may substitute navy, cannellini, or other white
  • beans), soaked overnight and drained*
  • Water
  • 1 onion, peeled and studded with 12 whole cloves
  • 2 large carrots
  • 1 (3 by 5-inch) strip kombu (dried seaweed)
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large bunch of broccoli rabe, cut into 1-inch pieces (or substitute 3 to 4 cups broccolini or broccoli florets or roughly chopped Tuscan kale)
  • 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 thick slices rustic sourdough bread, lightly toasted
  • 1 tablespoon chile oil (optional)
  • 1/4 cup vegan or traditional Parmesan, grated or shaved


  1. Make sure to soak your beans overnight (or at least 4 hours), covered in room temperature water.
  2. Combine the beans in a large pot with enough water to cover by 2 inches. Add the onion, carrots, kombu, and bay leaves, turn the heat to medium-high, and bring the beans to a boil. Let then boil for 5 minutes, then reduce the heat so the beans are at a bare simmer, cover, and cook until the beans are very tender, about 1 hour. (Alternatively, you can cook the beans, water, and aromatic vegetables in a stovetop or electric pressure cooker: Bring to high pressure and cook for 17 minutes if using a stovetop model or 20 minutes for electric. Let the pressure release naturally, then open.)
  3. Discard the onion, carrots, kombu, and bay leaves and strain the beans, reserving all of the cooking liquid.
  4. In a deep skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat until it shimmers. Stir in the broccoli rabe and sauté until very tender, about 8 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until it starts to soften, about 2 minutes. Stir in the drained beans, 1 1/2 cups of the reserved cooking liquid, and the salt. Cook just until the beans are hot and the flavors have melded, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the pepper, taste, and add more salt if needed. (Here we added about 3/4 teaspoon extra salt until the flavor popped.)
  5. Divide the toast among shallow serving bowls. Drizzle with the chile oil, if desired, and spoon the bean mixture and broth on top of the toast (use the broth as a sauce to flavor the toast). Finish with the Parm and serve hot.


*This recipe is best when made with dried beans. But if you’d like to use canned, use 3 cans Great Northern or other white beans, with can liquid reserved and start with Step 3. In Step 4, use the can liquid topped off with water to make the 1 1/2 cups “reserved cooking liquid.” 

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Boiled
  • Cuisine: Vegetarian
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Keywords: Beans on toast