zolfini beans with artichoke puree and breadsticks
zolfini con crema di carciofi e grissini
TOTAL TIME: 1 hour, 30 minutes plus soaking
MAKES: 6 servings
- 1 cup dried zolfini or cannellini beans
- 5 bay leaves
- 1 Serrano chile
- 1 garlic clove, peeled
- Fine sea salt
- 1 (1/4-ounce) package active dry yeast
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup spelt flour
- Fine sea salt
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil plus more for greasing bowl
- 1/2 lemon plus 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 medium artichokes
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil plus more for drizzling
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
- Fine sea salt
- 6 large slices rustic bread
FOR BEANS: Rinse beans, then place in a large saucepan and cover with water by 3 inches; add bay leaves, chile and garlic. Soak for 8 hours or overnight.
Place saucepan over medium heat and bring liquid to a simmer. Reduce to a bare simmer and cook until beans are very tender, adding water as necessary to keep beans covered by about 1/2 inch, 1 to 1 1/2 hours (depending on freshness of beans). Remove pan from heat, stir in 1 1/2 tablespoons salt and set aside.
FOR BREADSTICKS: In a large bowl, stir together 1/2 cup warm water, yeast and sugar; let stand until foamy, about 15 minutes. (If mixture doesn’t foam, start over with new yeast.) Add all-purpose flour, spelt flour, generous pinch salt and oil; mix together to form soft dough. Turn out dough onto a floured surface and knead, dusting surface and hands with just enough flour to keep dough from sticking, until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes.
Grease a large bowl with oil, then turn dough in bowl to coat. Cover with a clean damp dishcloth and let rise, in a draft-free place at warm room temperature, until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead several times to remove air. Cut into 6 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a 16-inch long rope. Fold 1 rope in half, then twist halves together. Transfer to prepared baking sheet and repeat with remaining dough. Cover with a damp dishcloth and let rise until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes.
Heat oven to 475º. Bake breadsticks, rotating pan once halfway through, until lightly golden, about 15 minutes. Transfer breadsticks to a wire rack to cool.
FOR ARTICHOKE PURÉE: Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
Meanwhile, squeeze juice from lemon half into a large bowl of cold water, then drop lemon into water. Cut off artichoke stems and discard. Cut off top inch of 1 artichoke with a serrated knife. Bend outer leaves backward until they snap off close to base,
then discard several more layers of leaves in same manner until you reach pale yellow leaves with pale green tips. Cut off green tips. Trim dark green fibrous parts from base and sides of artichoke with a small sharp knife, cut in half lengthwise, and cut out purple leaves and fuzzy choke. Drop halved artichoke into the acidulated water. Repeat with remaining artichoke. Drain artichokes and transfer to boiling water. Return to a gentle boil and cook until tender, about 8 minutes.
Drain artichokes and transfer to a food processor. Add lemon juice, oil, parsley and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Purée mixture until very smooth, then force through the holes of a medium-mesh sieve into a bowl.
Using the cutter, cut out 1 (3-inch) round from each slice of bread. Place 1 bread round on each serving plate, then top with beans. Drizzle 1 tablespoon bean cooking liquid over the top, then drizzle with oil. Divide the artichoke purée and breadsticks among the plates.
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