Makes enough for 20 toasts
Ready in 15 minutes
2 × 400g tins of butter beans, drained and well rinsed
100ml olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
2 cloves of garlic, sliced
2 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves removed and stalks discarded
2 tablespoons single cream
10 slices from a round loaf, halved
These ingredients were made for each other, and it’s a simple combination, so you can play with it. Try it on rye bread; rosemary and parsley go well too; use borlotti beans next time; and it doesn’t matter how well you mash the beans, a bit of texture does no harm. You can easily halve this amount but 20 toasts will go down pretty quickly.
1. Heat the butter beans with 2 tablespoons of water in a medium saucepan over a medium-high heat for 2–3 minutes, until you can just squash them with the back of a spoon. Pour off any water that has not been absorbed and add a little oil to the pan with the garlic. Then turn down the heat and cook gently for another 2 minutes.
2. Pour the butter bean mix into a food processor with half the thyme leaves and the cream. Pulse, gradually pouring in the rest of the oil, until you have a rough but creamy paste. Season well with salt and pepper. You can use a potato masher to do this too.
3. Toast your bread under the grill until crisp and golden. Transfer the toast to plates or a board and thickly spread with the butter beans. Top with the remaining thyme leaves, drizzle with olive oil and serve.