Crostini with Braised Spring Greens, Toasted Pine Nuts and Currants

Crostini with Braised Spring Greens, Toasted Pine Nuts and Currants

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  • 2 bunches spring braising greens (a mixture of lacinato kale, collards and mizuna is nice)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus a little extra
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced shallots
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
  • 1/4  cup sultana raisins or substitute zante currants
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • Water, as needed
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 1 baguette, sliced into 1/2-inch rounds
  • Shaved Parmesan cheese, for topping (optional)


Strip leaves away from the thick kale or collard stems. Wash leaves well to remove all grit. Shake water from them but don’t worry about drying them well. Slice into long, thin (about 1/2-inch) strips.

Heat oil over medium-high heat and sauté shallots until soft. Add a pinch of salt and red pepper flakes. Mix well and cook for another minute.

Raise heat to high. Add all greens with the water still clinging to them. Add vinegar, olives, raisins, and brown sugar. Stir, lower heat to low, cover and let greens cook down for 5 minutes. Stir, add more water if greens are dry, cover and cook for 5 to 10 more minutes. Taste: the greens should be tender and should be a little bit sweet and sour.

Add salt and pepper to taste and then toss in pine nuts. Drizzle bread with olive oil and then broil or grill until one side is light brown and toasty. Pile some cooked greens on top of the bread. Garnish with a shaving of Parmesan.

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