When having people over for dinner, I always struggle with what to serve with the apéro. Growing up in America, my mom would always have a cheese plate with fruits and vegetables but given that in France the cheese plate comes after the meal, I feel stumped.
So when I found this kale, plum and ricotta crostini recipe, I tried it out for a dinner party last week. And it was also a great way to incorporate the lovely plums that are abundant in Paris markets right now.
Kale, Plum & Ricotta Crostini
1 bunch of curly, green kale or lacinato/dinosaur kale
10 or so smalls plums (quartered)
Baguette (although I used great whole wheat bread; depends on what you want)
250 grams of ricotta cheese
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 Tablespoon of honey or maple syrup
1 clove of garlic; halved
Salt & pepper
1. In a small jar, combine the juice of the lemon, 2 Tbsp of olive oil and 1 Tbsp of honey (or maple syrup) and shake well.
2. As with previous kale salads, de-stem kale and finely chop. Place into medium-sized bowl.
3. Add the dressing and sea salt and massage for 1-2 minutes. Set aside.
4. Slice the baguette or your bread of choice into thin pieces. Rub one side of the bread with clove of garlic (cut in half) and then use a pastry brush to paint a thin layer of olive oil. Sprinkle lightly with salt/pepper.
5. Place in the oven at 350 degrees (F)/180 degrees (C) and toast bread slices until golden brown.
6. When bread is toasted, remove and let cool for 2-3 minutes. Spread ricotta cheese on each piece.
7. Top with marinated kale and plum quarters.
While ricotta is a cheese, it’s light enough that you don’t feel like you’ve overloaded on cheese by the time you get to the cheese plate. The crostini are great at the start of a party but I also paired them with a light vegetable soup. Having the crostini addition added more substance to the soup as a starter.
[adapted from an Amanda Freitag recipe]