Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Use Your Booty: Bruschetta with Kale & White Beans

Let's get one thing out the way right up front: broo-SKET-a, not brooshetta. Feel free to tell your waitress.

Ok then, that said, let's move on to the recipe.

Bruschetta is a great way to use up slightly stale rustic-style bread (like this kind of bread). Slice it thickish - I like between 1/2" - 3/4" thick. Grill or broil it, rub with garlic and drizzle with olive oil. Top with sautéed vegetables and eat like an open-faced sandwich. I like this version a lot. You might think beans and bread is a lot of starchiness, but the beans add a lovely creaminess to the dish without adding fat.

Kale & White Bean Bruschetta
Serves 2
This is easily doubled, tripled or quadrupled. We eat it for dinner, but if you cut the bread into smaller pieces it would be a nice first course or nibble for a summer party.
  • 2 ounces pancetta, cubed or bacon, chopped (optional)
  • olive oil
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, sliced thin
  • 1 big bunch kale, leaves removed from the stems and coarsely chopped or torn (you need a lot of kale - it really cooks down)
  • 1 can white beans, drained and rinsed (about 1-1.5 cups cooked beans)
  • 4 slices rustic-style crusty bread (you know what you'll eat, so the number of slices will depend on the size of your loaf)
  • 1 clove garlic
In a large skillet, cook the pancetta or bacon (if using) until it's crisp and browned. Remove the pancetta from the pan and set aside. If the pan is too dry (or if you didn't use the meat, or if you don't want to cook in bacon fat) add enough olive oil to generously film the bottom of the pan.

When the oil is hot, add the garlic. When it just starts to color, add the kale to the pan (it will sputter - watch out for flying oil droplets!). Stir the kale as it wilts and softens. If it starts to stick add a little water to the pan. When the kale is wilted down and softened, add the beans and heat them through. Add salt and pepper to taste, remembering that if you're using pancetta or bacon they will add salt to the dish too.

Meanwhile heat your grill or broiler. Brush the slices of bread with oil and grill or broil, turning once until browned and toasty (I like mine on the brown side of incinerated, whereas Dave prefers his a little more tan/blond). Rub the slices of bread with the other clove of garlic. Place the bread on dinner plates and drizzle with a little more oil. Top the bread slices with the kale & bean mixture and sprinkle the pancetta over the kale. Drizzle with a wee bit more oil (you don't want this plate dripping with oil, so use a teaspoon or two per drizzle).


This Summer, I am chronicling my first CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) experience. My CSA share is from Arrowhead Farm, a farm based in Newburyport, MA. Each week, I am posting about what was in my share and what I'm doing with it. By way of full disclosure, I won my share through a raffle and am not paying for it. However, Arrowhead did not know I was entered in the raffle, and I received no special consideration because of this blog. I paid for my livestock share.

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