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Black Bean and Avocado Crostini

Crostini is a general term that refers to "little toasts" which are usually topped with one or more garnish items. This Southwestern version combines the creaminess of black beans with the heat from guacamole for terrific hors d'oeuvre or snack idea.

Any of the garlic parsley butter not used for the crostini recipe can be used as a sauce for pasta or steamed vegetables. The butter may be placed into a ramekin, or shaped into a log and rolled in plastic wrap. The butter can be held for up to 1 week in the refrigerator, or frozen for several weeks.

CIA's black bean crostini recipe

Ingredients

Preparation time: 45 minutes

  • 1/2 baguette, sliced 1/4 inch thick (about 20 slices)
  • 1/4 cup GarIic and Parsley Butter (recipe below)
  • 1/2 cup small-diced Vidalia onion
  • 2 plum tomatoes, cut in small dice
  • 3/4 cup cooked or canned black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
  • 2 avocados, cut in small dice
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 garic clove, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon chiIli powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 24 cilantro or parsley leaves, rinsed and dried

Garlic and Parsley Butter

Makes 2 cups

  • Preparation time: 10 minutes
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley (1 bunch, leaves only)
  • 4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
  • 1 pound unsalted butter, diced into small cubes, cold

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
  2. Toast the baguette slices in the oven for 5–7 minutes, or until the outside edges are golden brown. Spread each baguette slice with approximately 1/2 teaspoon of the garlic butter. Reserve the toasts until needed.
  3. Combine the onion, tomatoes, black beans, cilantro, and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Peel and core one of the avocados and dice into 1/4–inch pieces. Combine the avocado with 1 tablespoon of the lime juice and add the garlic, chili powder, and cumin. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Peel and core the remaining avocado. Cut the avocado crosswise into thin slices (you will need 24 slices). Sprinkle the avocado slices with the rest of the lime juice to keep them from turning brown.
  6. Spread 1 heaping teaspoon of the avocado mixture on each crostini. Top with 1 tablespoon of the black bean mixture. Garnish with an avocado slice and a cilantro or parsley leaf.
  7. Arrange the crostini on a platter or individual plates and serve.

Garlic and Parsley Butter

  1. Place the parsley, garlic, and salt in a food processor fitted with a metal chopping blade and pulse until evenly minced and well blended.
  2. Add the cubed butter to the parsley-garlic mixture. Process, scraping down the sides as needed, until butter is softened and mixture is well blended. The butter should be light green in color.

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