As a young American student, finding myself in liverpool, England for the very first time, there were a lot of, “What do you eat..?!?” experiences. Like, the first time I visited and the hotel I was staying at served black and white pudding for breakfast. A very misconstrued name for what turns out to be a type of sausage. Or, when I saw prawns and butter as a sandwich option at the local deli. Well honestly, they would eat butter with everything on a piece of white bread… butter and ham, butter and grated cheese… you get the picture.
As a girl who grew up eating dried fruit as sweets and fresh salads from the garden, I was in all sorts of whack trying to adjust to this new approach of eating. And to be honest, I truly never fully adjusted. I couldn’t stomach the meer thought of some of these age old traditions, especially as a vegetarian at the time.
However, there is one tradition I surely did appreciate. The concept of toast and even further, the traditional British beans on toast. It did take me a minute to accept, but after many a hungover morning spent at the local pub, filling up on a traditional British breakfast, I started to truly love the mix of canned beans with toast. And yes… I did just say I used to have breakfast in a pub - don’t over think it, it’s like brunch at a gastro pub, except replace the modern charm with decades of history… and the sour yet charming smell of spilt beer.
To get to the point, this is my modern take on an old tradition. I will still always crave a simple tomato based baked beans on a piece of buttered toast, but this lemon and dill white bean salad is by far a healthier choice, filled with more protein and when paired with fresh homemade hummus, avocado and mozzarella is quite a delight. I also added the recipe for a simple lemon and white bean hummus below, if you are like me and love to make it all from scratch. But do not fret, store bought hummus is a much quicker option for the ladies on the go, and just as good.
Hope you enjoy this simple yet tasty beans on toast and let me know if you have any crazy food stories from your time spent in a new place! You know we all have them, and sometimes we learn to love what is new and different.
White Beans on Toast w/ fresh lemon, dill and mozzarella
1 15 oz can Northern White Bean
1 small Avocado
1 small Sweet White Onion
2 oz. Fresh Mozzarella, or your preferred serving size
1 piece of Toast, fresh bread, or pita
1 tbsp Homemade lemon +white bean hummus, or your favorite store bought hummus
for the dressing
2 Lemons, juiced + 1/4 tsp Zest
2 tsp Garlic Olive Oil, option to use regular evoo + 1 tsp garlic powder
3-4 springs of Fresh Dill, chopped
2- 3 pinches of Red chili flakes
Salt + Fresh Cracked Pepper
Begin by thinly slicing the white onion and marinating them along with the cleaned white beans in the salad dressing. I like to start every salad by marinating the bits to allow the flavor to set in. Use the allocated dressing measurements as merely guidelines. Add more or less lemon, dill or garlic olive oil to your liking. Make sure there is enough liquid to coat the onions and beans. I let mine sit for at least 10 minutes, while I prepare the other bits.
If you are making the Homemade Lemon and white bean Hummus, I would prepare that next using the recipe below. If not, next lightly toast your bread of choice. I used a seeded multi grain I had purchased from a local baker. A whole grain pita is also a solid choice. I like to lightly drizzle the garlic olive oil on my toast before I broil it in the oven.
Next, slice the avocado and pull apart the mozzarella. A lot of people don’t know this, but mozzarella cheese was actually made to be pulled apart, not sliced. A very common mistake amongst many including me for years.
Once you have all of the components prepared, not all you must do is assemble. Start by spreading the hummus on the toast, I sometimes sprinkle some extra red pepper flakes here. I like lots of spice. Next, nicely lay out the avocado. If I am simply feeding myself, I would only use half of a small avocado. Top with the bean salad, getting some of the juices from the bottom of the bowl. Garnish with the fresh mozzarella, some extra dill and cracked pepper. I also always drizzle a bit of olive oil across the top.
Serve cold or at room temperature. The salad makes up to 4 servings. Mix in with some fresh spinach or arugula the next day top make it go farther.
Lemon + White Bean Hummus
1 15 oz can Northern White Beans, drained and rinsed
2 tbsp Tahini
2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1- 2 Lemons, juiced
the Zest of Half a Lemon
1 clove Garlic, minced or 1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/2 tsp Onion Powder, optional
1/4 tsp Red Chili Flakes, optional
1 tsp Salt
a couple tbsp’s of Water as needed to thin
Place ingredients in food processor or blender, except water, and blend until creamy. Taste for flavor adding anything more to your liking, probably some more salt, lemon or garlic. Blend again. Add water one tablespoon at a time to thin if needed. Serve right away or let it marinate. The flavor will always develop over time, so i prefer my hummus day two.
Makes 1 1/2 cups.
Keeps up to a week.