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    • Randy Graham

    • February 25, 2013 in Columnists

    Crostini with Fresh Kale

     Crostini with Fresh Kale

    In Italian, the word crostini means “little toasts,” which is an accurate description. Crostini are made by thinly slicing bread, typically plain white bread, and toasting or grilling it so that it becomes crispy. The slices can be drizzled with olive oil and salt and then served plain, or they can be dressed with an assortment of toppings and used as appetizers or garnishes with foods such as soups.

    Here is a vegan crostini appetizer that features kale. It has a fresh, lemony flavor that is simple and, from a culinary viewpoint, elegant. The crostini has a nice crunch while the kale and lemon explode on your palate.

    1 baguette (sliced 1/2 inch thick on the diagonal)
    3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    Coarse salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
    4 garlic cloves (minced)
    2 pounds fresh kale
    1 cup water
    Fresh lemon juice

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

    Arrange bread slices on a baking sheet. Brush with 1 tablespoon oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake until light golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

    To prepare the kale, remove all stems and ribs. Slice remaining leaves into ¼-inch strips.

    In a large skillet, heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil on medium heat. Add garlic and sauté until garlic is fragrant – about 2 – 3 minutes. Add kale and cook until wilted, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste and add water. Reduce heat to medium-low. Watching the kale closely so it doesn’t burn, cook until almost all liquid has evaporated, about 6 – 8 minutes.

    Top crostini with kale. Sprinkle a few drops of lemon juice on top of each crostini and serve while kale is still warm.

    See Chef Randy’s food blog for more recipes at: http://valleyvegetarian.blogspot.com


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