Crostini with Braised Spring Greens, Toasted Pine Nuts and Currants
Serves: 6 to 8
These tiny toasts are a prefect spring appetizer.
- 2 bunches spring braising greens (a mixture of lacinato kale, collards and mizuna is nice) Add to list
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus a little extra Add to list
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced shallots Add to list
- Pinch of sea salt Add to list
- Pinch of red pepper flakes Add to list
- 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar Add to list
- 1/2 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped Add to list
- 1/4 cup sultana raisins or substitute zante currants Add to list
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar Add to list
- Water, as needed Add to list
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste Add to list
- 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted Add to list
- 1 baguette, sliced into 1/2-inch rounds Add to list
- Shaved Parmesan cheese, for topping (optional) Add to list
Strip leaves away from the thick kale or collard stems. Wash leaves well to remove all grit. Shake water from them but don’t worry about drying them well. Slice into long, thin (about 1/2-inch) strips.
Heat oil over medium-high heat and sauté shallots until soft. Add a pinch of salt and red pepper flakes. Mix well and cook for another minute.
Raise heat to high. Add all greens with the water still clinging to them. Add vinegar, olives, raisins, and brown sugar. Stir, lower heat to low, cover and let greens cook down for 5 minutes. Stir, add more water if greens are dry, cover and cook for 5 to 10 more minutes. Taste: the greens should be tender and should be a little bit sweet and sour.
Add salt and pepper to taste and then toss in pine nuts. Drizzle bread with olive oil and then broil or grill until one side is light brown and toasty. Pile some cooked greens on top of the bread. Garnish with a shaving of Parmesan.
Recipe by, PCC Cooks instructor
Source: Demonstrated on the PCC Cooks stage at Vegfest 2010.