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Inspiration for tonight's menu: a taste of the rolling Tuscan countyside to brighten up the evening. Uncork a nice Chianti to sip while you nibble on Merrill's creamy and bright Bruschetta with Ricotta, Honey and Lemon Zest and kick your feet up while you watch your Ribollita simmer away on the stove. Rustic Italian bliss, on your table in under an hour.
1lb cavolo nero, or any variety of kale
1 15 oz can of cannellini beans
1 big loaf of country bread (4-6 slices for the soup, the rest for the bruschetta)
1 cup ricotta (for a half recipe, unless there are 10 people eating with you on a weeknight. If that is the case, you should get 2 cups and we bow to you, brave soul!)
As usual, we're assuming that you're a clever and always-prepared home cook, with a well stocked fridge and pantry, in which case you'd have canned tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, onion, salt, pepper, honey, and a lemon. If not, add those to the list, they're handy to have around.
This week, the plan is a bit "Choose Your Own Adventure". We give you ...two plans!
Scenario #1: Not Starving
1. Tackle the ribollita through step 4, at which point you let the soup simmer for 20 minutes.
2. While the soup simmers, slice, toast and slather your bruschetta! Nibble.
3. Complete the soup & serve, with the ricotta toasts on the side.
Scenario #2: Starving!
1. Make the bruschetta! Immédiatement! Pour yourself a glass of something lovely and preferably Italian while the bread grills. Sip, spread, zest, snack.
2. Now that you've staved off your hunger a bit, dive in to the ribollita.
Aside: If you want something sweet after dinner, throw a little fruit on the grill or grill pan (which should still be hot from toasting the bread) and top it with the remaining ricotta. Presto! Dessert is served.