Smashed White Bean Toast with Garlic Scape Pistou

Smashed White Bean Toast with Garlic Scape Pistou
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Earlier this week I brought you hand-formed pasta and today I give you beans on toast. Culinary whiplash much? What can I say? I contain multitudes. Sometimes I’m in gourmet mode, other times I’m the farthest thing from it. Today’s Smashed White Bean Toast with Garlic Scape Pistou falls somewhere in between. It requires only slightly more effort than a trashy home-alone meal. But the taste, well, that has “gourmet” written all over it. Complex but low-maintenance – a home cook’s dream. So let’s make it!

White beans with bay leaves and a Parmigiano Reggiano rind in a skillet.

We’re going to start by heating a little olive oil in a large skillet. Once the oil is shimmering, add some minced garlic. Leave the heat low, so the garlic can coast and gently sauté. Garlic burns very easily and burnt garlic is not the best flavor, to put it mildly. Add 2 cans of drained and rinsed white beans. Yes, this is a canned bean recipe. I do soak dried beans and I do enjoy a slow-cooked bean dish. But that’s not where I am right now. 

Garlic Scapes on a cutting board.
Chive blossoms in a small bowl.

Once the beans are in there, toss them in the sautéed garlic and oil until they are coated. Add a rind from a block of Parmigiano Reggiano, a few bay leaves, some water, and a little salt. Bring everything up to a boil and reduce to simmer. Let cook gently for 10-15 minutes. 

Garlic Scape Pistou
Simmered white beans in a large bowl covered with fresh ground pepper.

While the beans are simmering, we can whip up the pistou. This Garlic Scape Pistou is a cinch to make. All you have to do is coarsely chop some garlic scapes and pop them in a food processor. Add some chives, a whole whack of fresh basil, salt, olive oil, and lemon juice. Blitz everything until you have a very smooth bright green mixture. Pour the finished pistou into a bowl and set it aside. 

Smashed White Bean Toast with Garlic Scape Pistou

Once the beans are fall-apart tender, take them off of the heat. Transfer them to a large bowl and add some lemon juice and fresh ground pepper. Coarsely mash them with a potato masher. If they seem a little runny, take heart. Once you unleash their starches, the beans will thicken as they cool. You can serve this bean mixture warm, but I prefer these beans at room temperature. You can also chill them overnight if you’re looking for a more refreshing eating experience.

When you’re ready to serve, toast a couple thick slices of rustic bread. Spoon the beans over the toast very generously and top them with a couple of spoonfuls of the garlic scape pistou. You can swirl the pistou into the beans if you like. I did and I highly recommend it. Garnish your Smashed White Bean Toast with fresh basil leaves, and torn chive blossoms, and serve.

And there you go, Smashed White Bean Toast with Garlic Scape Pistou an effortless but deeply satisfying dish that’s chill enough to eat on your own but fancy enough to serve to a crowd. We love a versatile queen!


Smashed White Bean Toast with Garlic Scape Pistou

Smashed White Bean Toast with Garlic Scape Pistou

This Smashed White Bean Toast features lemony white beans draped over toast topped with a vibrant Garlic Scape Pistou, fresh basil leaves, and chive blossoms.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Course Appetizer, Snack
Servings 4


  • 1 Food Processor
  • 1 Large skillet


Smashed White Beans

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 (540 ml, 18 fl oz) white beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 rind Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • Fresh ground pepper

Garlic Scape Pistou

  • 6-7 garlic scapes ** coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup fresh chives coarsely chopped
  • cups fresh basil tightly packed
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 lemon juiced

To Serve

  • 4 thick slices of bread toasted
  • Fresh basil leaves for sprinkling
  • Chive blossoms torn, for sprinkling


For the Beans

  • Heat the olive oil in a large skillet until shimmering. Reduce the heat to low and add the garlic. Saute until fragrant about a minute.
  • Add the beans, the rind, and the bay leaves. Pour in the water and bring everything up to a boil. Generously sprinkle the beans with salt and reduce the heat to low. Leave the beans to simmer uncovered for 15 minutes.
  • Take the beans off of the heat and transfer them to a bowl. Let cool to room temperature. Add the lemon juice and the fresh ground pepper. Using a potato masher, mash the beans to your desired smoothness. Set the beans aside until ready to serve.

For the Pistou

  • Place all of the pistou ingredients in a food processor and blitz until very smooth. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and chill until ready to serve.

To Serve

  • Spoon the beans over the toast generously. Top the beans with the pistou and garnish with fresh basil and chive blossoms. Serve immediately.


** If you can’t find garlic scapes or they are not in season use 2-3 cloves of garlic in their stead. 
Keyword Basil, garlic scapes, toast, white beans

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