Kale and Parmigiano Reggiano Crostini

Kale and Parmigiano Reggiano Crostini

Just a splash of fish sauce enriches the flavor of this tasty starter. Pair with a sparkling wine like a Prosecco, or a Sauvignon Blanc. Kale and baguette toasts can be made up to 4 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.
Makes 12

1 pound lacinato kale, washed*
12 baguette slices, cut 1/3-inch thick on the diagonal
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2-1 teaspoon fish sauce (nam pla)
2 tablespoons pine nuts or almonds, toasted
1 ounce Parmigiano Reggiano or pecorino cheese
Maldon or other flaky sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400°F.**

1. Bring large pot of salted water to boil. Meanwhile cut stems from center of each kale leaf and discard. Cut in to 1/4-inch chiffonade, Add kale leaves to boiling water and cook just until kale is tender but still bright green, about 3 minutes. Pour into a strainer/colander to drain. Press down with a ladle to remove excess water,.

2. On a cookie sheet arrange baguette slices in a single layer; brush slices on one side using 2 tablespoons olive oil. Toast in oven until they are the color of a corn flake, about 10-12 minutes.

3. In a large 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat, heat remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil. Add chopped kale, garlic and fish sauce, sauté until heated through, 3 to 4 minutes. Add pine nuts, salt and pepper to taste.

4. Divide kale mixture into 12 portions. Shave Parmigiano Reggiano cheese over the top and serve on a platter.

*Also called Tuscan kale, dinosaur kale, black kale, or cavolo nero, has long, narrow, very dark green, bumpy leaves; it’s available at some supermarkets and farmers’ markets.

**You could grill the crostini.

© 2010 Julie Logue-Riordan

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Copyright © Julie Logue Riordan, Cooking with Julie