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Esca Bruschetta

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Esca, which means "bait," is Mario Batali's Italian seafood restaurant in New York City. He uses mackerel for the bruschetta, but tuna is a fine substitute.

  1. 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  2. 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  3. 1/4 cup finely shredded basil
  4. 2 small garlic cloves, minced
  5. 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  6. 1 teaspoon minced rosemary, plus whole sprigs for garnish
  7. Salt and freshly ground pepper
  8. Two 19-ounce cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  9. Two 6-ounce cans mackerel or tuna packed in olive oil, drained and broken up into large chunks
  10. 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  11. Eight 1-inch-thick slices Italian peasant bread, grilled or toasted
  1. In a bowl, combine the olive oil, vinegar, basil, garlic, crushed red pepper and minced rosemary. Season the dressing with salt and pepper.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the beans with the mackerel and onion and toss gently. Add the dressing and toss again.
  3. Mound 1/4 cup of salad on each toast, garnish with rosemary sprigs and serve.
Notes Don't mix this salad too far in advance, since the acid in the vinegar will discolor the herbs and wilt the leaves.


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