When you drop a sage leaf into hot oil, it sputters, frizzles and becomes as crisp as a potato chip in a matter of seconds. As a bonus, the oil takes on the woodsy scent of sage and is brushed on the bread and mixed into the white beans for extra flavor.
Smashed White Beans and Frizzled Sage Toast
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.