The season of holiday parties is beginning… I don’t know about you, but I’m still pretty full from Thanksgiving. Not that I’ll be turning down cocktails or sugary treats when they’re offered to me… but somehow I feel less guilty indulging if I’ve had my kale fix. (Kale neutralizes out cookies, right?).
This appetizer is super simple to throw together (or even make ahead of time) and packs a garlicky-lemony-rosemary-ey punch…
makes about 15-18 crostini, depending on the size of your bread
1 small baguette sliced
1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons olive oil
3-4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
about 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
a few teaspoons fresh, chopped rosemary (reserve some for garnish)
a few pinches of red pepper flakes (plus extra for garnish)
1 shallot, chopped
2 garlic cloves (reserve 1/2 of one for rubbing on toasted bread)
1/2 bunch kale (approx. 3-4 leaves), stems removed
splash of white wine
salt & pepper
big shaving of fresh parmesan, for each toast
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and slice your baguette into thin (1/2 inch or so) pieces. Drizzle them with some olive oil.
In a small bowl, place drained cannellini beans. Stir in the olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, rosemary, red pepper flakes, salt & pepper. Set aside and let the beans soak up the flavors while you prepare the other ingredients. (soak for at least 15 minutes, this step can also be done up to a day ahead of time).
Toast the baguette slices in the oven until golden brown. While the slices are still warm, rub with the open side of a cut piece of garlic. Set aside.
Chop your kale in half down the center and then into thin slices (in the other direction). It’ll cook down a lot but if your slices are too long and stringey they’ll be messier to eat. Heat oil in a medium skillet, add the shallots and cook for a couple of minutes until they soften.
Add the kale and garlic, and cook for a minute more. Add a good splash of white wine.
Stir, and cook for another 30 seconds or so, until the kale is nicely wilted but still vibrant green. Remove from heat and set aside.
Mix the cooked kale with the white beans. Taste and adjust seasonings.
Assemble toasts. Top with rosemary, red pepper flakes, and a good shaving of parmesan. Taste one and adjust seasonings again — add more herbs if you wish, salt, pepper, or another squeeze of lemon if you like.
*Alternatively, you can puree the white bean mixture together… either dollop the puree on the kale on each toast, or serve in a separate bowl for dipping.