On a trip to Sorana, just outside of Lucca, Steve met with some bean growers and learned more about the sorana bean that Marcella Hazan loved. He had one of those perfect Italian lunches that started with the beans served on very well-saturated-with-olive-oil toast and topped with a thin slice of lardo, a preserved seasoned fat-back which is much more delicious than it sounds. Lardo can be difficult to find outside of Italy, but prosciutto is a great substitute. The toasts can also be served without meat, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with fresh herbs, salt, and pepper.
- 8 large ½-inch slices country style bread
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and left whole
- 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for finishing
- 2 to 3 cups cooked, drained Rancho Gordo white heirloom beans, such as Marcella beans
- Flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 ounces lardo or thinly sliced prosciutto
SERVES 8 AS AN APPETIZER
- Toast or grill the bread. Rub one side of each slice with garlic, then brush with olive oil.
- Spoon about ½ cup beans onto each toast, and coarsely crush with a fork. Divide the remaining whole beans among the toasts (about ¼ cup per toast). Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper, as desired. Top with slices of lardo or prosciutto.