Crostone con cavolo nero e cannellini beans (grilled bread with cavolo nero and beans)

September 16, 2009
1 Ratings
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

In Tuscany we make these Crostones in winter when the Cavolo Nero is young. It's a way of using up stale bread and when Cavolo Nero grows in such quantities you don't know what to do with them. They do a great vegetarian first course or just a light dinner in itself. In the US you would use Black Cabbage or Tuscan Kale as I have found out on the internet. —Maria Teresa Jorge

What You'll Need
  • 1 bunch cavolo nero
  • 1/2 cup cannellini or borlotti beans - dry
  • 2 garlic clove
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 4 sage leaves
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • fleur de sel
  • extra olive oil to serve
  • 8 slices of surdough or Italian bread
  1. Wash the dry cannellini or borlotti beans and soak them in water overnight.
  2. In a large pot add the soaked beans, cover with water, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the sage leaves and 1 garlic clove. Do not cook them with salt or they will remain hard. Cover the pot with a lid and simmer about 20 minutes or until they are cooked. Add salt to taste and simmer for another 10 minutes uncovered.
  3. Choose the younger leaves of your cavolo nero and wash them. Roughly tear them up and sautee them in 2 tablespoons of olive oil until al dente.
  4. Cut the bread in slices 1/2 inch thick and when you have the Cavolo Nero and beans ready, put the bread slices under the grill and lightly toast them.
  5. Have all the ingredients next to you so you make the crostone really quickly and serve them straight away otherwise they will become horribly soggy.
  6. Cut the other garlic in half and very very lightly rub the toasted bread with the cut surface of the garlic clove. Top with the some sauteed cavolo nero and add on top some cooked beans. Drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil, a pinch of freshly ground black pepper and sprinkle with some fleur de sel.
  7. Serve immediately.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • lastnightsdinner
  • cheese1227
  • Maria Teresa Jorge
    Maria Teresa Jorge
  • Merrill Stubbs
    Merrill Stubbs

6 Reviews

lastnightsdinner December 29, 2009
This is one of my favorite dishes! I love making a big bruschetta and topping the beans and greens with a fried or poached egg - a simple and satisfying light meal for one.
Maria T. December 29, 2009
Sounds good to me although I can eat 2 or 3 of these but the eggs I pass.
cheese1227 December 29, 2009
Looks like a great combo. But what winter green here in the US is nearest to the Cavolo Nero?
lastnightsdinner December 29, 2009
I think the closest thing you'll find here is Tuscan or Lacinato kale.
Merrill S. December 29, 2009
That's what I would suggest too. You can sometimes find cavolo nero in specialty shops, but it's rare.
Maria T. December 29, 2009
Thank you Merril for the help. I went searching on the net and it came up as Black Cabbage. It's not the tightly heading, round cabbage, such as savoy. It's an leafy and separately foliated cabbage and I have added a photo I took from the web to the recipe so you understand what type of cabbage it is.