Crostoni with Rainbow Chard, Gypsy Peppers & Black Oil Cured Olives

By • July 6, 2011 • 0 Comments



Author Notes: Today I had a hankerin' for crostoni, and when I opened my fridge a bag of farmer's market jewels tumbled out and landed at my slippers. Tiny sweet gypsy peppers of gold and red and fiery orange.

have a look:
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Serves 4

  • 4 - 1/4" slices of your fave crusty bread
  • A bundle of chard, rainbow or otherwise
  • A bunch of gypsies, I think I used about 15
  • About 6 cloves of garlic
  • An onion, yellow
  • A splash of white wine
  • A handful of black oil cured olives
  • 2 sprigs of thyme, 2 of marjoram
  • A pinch of red chili flake
  1. Slice up your onion, garlic and peppers, and arrange them in a lovely heap.
  2. Cut the ribs out of the chard leaves, and slice them up.
  3. Heat some olive oil in a pan. Don't be stingy, then add your chard ribs, peppers, garlic and onions, along with a pinch of salt. Sweat all this down. They should soften quite a bit, but we don't want mush, so be mindful and don't go too far.
  4. When they are appropriately softened, but still a little al dente, add a splash of white wine. Cook the wine out.
  5. Add some water, about a quarter cup. You want it to be a little saucy. Now simmer all of this goodness until the braising liquid has thickened a bit.
  6. Pull the leaves from your herbs, give a rough chop if you must, and add them to the mix.
  7. Now do a fat chiffonade of your chard leaves, then add to the pan with a bit some water, enough to braise. Add a splash of olive oil now so that it has a chance to emulsify with the braising liquid and create a lovely sauce. If you add it at the end, you will have an oily mess o' greens.
  8. Once your greens are braised, but not cooked to mush (they should still have some body and a lovely green hue), check the viscosity of the sauce. You want it to be velvety, unctuous even, not thin and watery. If the braising liquid is too loose, pull the greens to one side of the pan, tilt the pan over the flame so that the greens are safely in one corner, the cooking halted; the only thing now over fire is the braising liquid. Let it bubble like mad to reduce.
  9. Add a pinch of chili flake.
  10. Broil your bread slices to golden, I'm using olive-rye. Then drizzle with olive oil.
  11. Rough chop your olives.
  12. Plate: toast down, drizzle with some of the braising liquid and top with the chard-pepper melange.
  13. Sprinkle with olives.
  14. You could grate some parm over your crostoni. Frankly, that would be lovely. I'm allergic to dairy :( so I will let you indulge on your own.
  15. Enjoy!

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