What do you do when someone invites you to a potluck within hours of the start time? I think I mentioned in my last post that it takes a lot of idea-churning for me to come up with a dish to bring to a meal when don’t know what everyone (anyone) else is bringing. So a last minute invite is at first heart-stopping, but then, somewhat miraculously, easy. There’s no time to think, so I cut out the thinking.
I’ve only made this little dish one other time, on a Tuesday or something, on a night when my Dad was out of town and my mom and I were having a simple dinner. It seemed almost too simple during the making, but when we bit into some little toasts with the tangy, garlic-y, buttery white beans, the doubt disintegrated. I remember distinctly eating it alongside some pasta, and thinking “my, so much grain,” and then letting the thought go and taking another bite.
Well, a few weeks ago, a co-worker invited me to a pot luck that night at her house, and I had to think on my toes. I thought I’d go to the bakery and buy one of these delicious little pizzas they make, but when I got there at 30 minutes to closing because it’s a long trip on a bicycle, they were out. So I looked at the bread rack, my eyes landed on a kalamata olive loaf, and I bought it. I was thinking I could just bring that–where I’m from, a kalamata olive loaf is like a hunk of gold, and usually gets devoured. But when I got home, I remembered I had a can of white beans, and this recipe popped in my head. It would only add about a dollar to the five dollars I was already spending, and I figured that was about how much I would normally spend to bring something to a dinner. I sliced the loaf, put it in the oven, then got my fingers super-smelly rubbing a garlic clove all over each piece. I mixed up the white bean-mixture in about 30 seconds, and still had a half hour to let the flavors meld and sit staring into space for a while.
I really liked laying this dish out on a big wooden cutting board and walking in with it (after putting it all back together in the car). It looked impressive, but was so easy, and it tasted delicious. We ate almost all of it before everyone had arrived! Tell people to take a plate or a napkin with their toast–those holes in the bread are for real. And tell them to enjoy.