The kale trend is in full force. You know that’s gone mainstream when Safeway carries prepackaged kale that is salad ready. I had my first kale Caesar many years ago when dining with a particularly high maintenance, but always entertaining colleague. She took one bite and proclaimed it an utter failure. And refused to take another bite. Didn’t bother me — just meant that I got it all to myself — although I had to admit I was perplexed by having to focus on chewing my salad.
Through my weekly market basket, I’m getting a constant flow of it so I wanted to try something a little different. This toast (or crostini if calling that suits you better) makes a great lunch or appetizer. Despite the number of steps, it comes together quite quickly.
Kale, Salami & Ricotta Crostini
- 1 tsp. honey
- 1 tsp. sherry vinegar
- Kosher salt
- 14 oz. Tuscan kale
- 2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 small sweet onion 4 small shallots sliced into thin rings
- 2 oz. thinly sliced Genoa salami, cut into thin strips (1/8 to 1/4 inch wide)
- 6-8 slices rustic bread
- Extra-virgin olive oil for brushing
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
To prepare the toasts, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly brush both sides of the bread with olive oil. Bake for approximately 10-12 minutes, or until light golden. Set aside until read to assemble.
To prepare the kale, trim it by grabbing each stem with one hand and ripping the two leafy sides away from it with the other hand. Discard the stems. Coarsely chop the leaves.
In a small bowl, whisk the honey and vinegar. Set aside.
In a 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallot rings and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, until soft and lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer the shallots to a plate. Increase the heat to medium high, add the salami strips and cook, stirring and breaking them up into smaller bits, until crisp, about 2 minutes. Transfer the salami to a plate.
Add the kale to the pan and toss with the fat until the kale is wilted. Off the heat, add the honey mixture and toss well. Season to taste with salt.
To assemble, spread each toast with ricotta, then top with kale and then a bit of the caramelized onion and salami.
Transfer to a serving platter and serve immediately.