Garlicky Great Northern Beans and Broccoli Rabe over Toast
- 2 cups great northern beans, dried, soaked overnight and drained; may substitute navy, cannellini, or other white beans
- 1 onion, studded with 12 whole cloves
- 2 large carrot
- 1 (3 by 5-inch) strip kombu, (dried seaweed)
- 3 bay leaf
- 3 tbsp olive oil, extra virgin
- 1 large bunch broccoli rabe, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 tsp salt, kosher; plus more to taste
- ¼ tsp pepper, black; freshly ground
- 6 thick slices bread, rustic sourdough; lightly toasted
- 1 tbsp chili oil, (optional)
- ¼ cup parmesan cheese, vegan or traditional; grated or shaved
- 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.)
- Discard the onion, carrots, kombu, and bay leaves and strain the beans, reserving all of the cooking liquid.
- 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.
- Divide the toast among shallow serving bowls. Drizzle with the chile oil, if desired, and spoon the bean mixture and broth on top. Finish with the Parm and serve hot.