Smashed White Beans and Frizzled Sage Toast

Time15 minutes
YieldsServes 4 to 6
Smashed White Beans and Frizzled Sage Toast
(Maria Zizka / For The Times)

Heat the oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Fry 3 sage leaves at a time until crisp, 2 to 4 seconds. Use a fork or slotted spoon to transfer the sage to a paper-towel-lined plate. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and let cool. Reserve the sage oil in the pan. (If the sage browns, the oil is too hot; remove it from the heat and let cool for a moment before continuing to fry the sage.)


Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Use about 1 tablespoon of the sage oil to brush the bread slices on one side. Place as many slices as will fit in a single layer in the skillet and toast until dark golden brown on the oiled side. Repeat to toast all the bread. Transfer the toast to a serving platter.


Add the remaining sage oil to the large skillet, followed by the garlic, beans and vinegar or lemon juice. Cook for 1 minute, stirring often and using the back of the spoon to smash some of the beans, creating a pleasing mix of whole, smashed and partially smashed beans. Season with salt and pepper.


Spread each toast with some smashed white beans. Sprinkle with the frizzled sage and serve.

Tip: How to Smash Garlic To turn fresh garlic cloves into a paste, mince the garlic on a cutting board, then sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Use the flat side of your knife to smash and scrape the garlic and salt together, cleaning the mash off the side of your knife by smearing it against the board. Repeat until it becomes a smooth paste. The salt breaks down the garlic so it incorporates more evenly into whatever you’re cooking and also helps tame some of its bite in raw preparations like salad dressings or dips. — Ben Mims