Updated: Jun 8
One of the most exciting destinations for me for food is the Pacific Northwest US. I tend to lump San Francisco in this region, although it is very south, but mainly Oregon and Washington and the fabulous, scenic coastline. Every time I travelled to Portland or Seattle I was happy, the admittedly cold rainy weather was refreshing, the wine spectacular and the food was exceptional. The cuisine of the Pacific Northwest was unique, fresh, farm-to-table style dinners that broke all the rules of flavour and style. These restaurants were casual, occasionally I was distressed by how dumpy they were, but every single time I was overwhelmed by the food. The region has led the way to fresh cooking, foraged mushrooms and herbs from the immense forests, the freshest seafood from the cols Pacific and unique ingredients grown in small family vegetable patches. The chefs, like this one, are creative, don't play by the rule book and are approachable, these are some of the most fun dining experiences I have had.
This Italian appetizer, hence a crostini, is a delight. The flavours are all over the place and pop. the crunchy baguette is topped with creamy chèvre and tart-sweet earthy kale and finally fresh pomegranate seed and pine nuts. Earthy, nutty, sweet and everything in between, this crostini is probably one of my favourites.
Thank you to the Cullinarium, Ooty for the lovely Lacinato kale. Loafer and Co for the baguette and Kage & Nari for the goat cheese.
I absolutely love this cookbook for the diversity of dishes, flavours and fun, casual style. The recipes from this cookbook are quite unique and I should be cooking from this cookbook more often. Eva is a photographer, educator, 2x cookbook author, stylist, avid gardener, and the gal behind the food + lifestyle blog Adventures in Cooking. She is based in the lush forests of the Pacific Northwest, where her work is inspired by the beauty of nature, soft light, and simple, seasonal living. This book also highlights the unique style and cuisine of the American North West, Portland the the region, fresh, beautiful cuisine that is foraged and amazing.
For more recipes from this cookbook click here.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, sliced thinly
1 large bunch (5+ cups, of kale, stripped of their stems
Salt, to taste
1/2 teaspoon pepper
4 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
4 oz. chèvre
3 tablespoons pine nuts, lightly roasted
Baguette, sliced on the diagonal, and toasted if desired
Heat the oil and add the onions. Fry on medium heat till the onions are lightly golden, about 3-4 minutes. Add the kale, salt, and pepper and cook for about 10 minutes till the kale is soft. The kale will give out its juices, this will dry out as you cook the mix.
Add the balsamic and cook till the balsamic thickens and coats the leaves. Add the honey and toss well so the honey cats the leaves. Taste a small leaf and check for salt, tanginess from the balsamic and a light sweetness from the honey. The mix should be absolutely delicious. You can leave the kale as long pieces or chop it into small bits. It is a matter of visual effect, and the chopped kale is easier to eat.
When ready to serve, smear a thick layer of chèvre on the baguette and top with the kale followed by the pine nuts and pomegranate seeds. Serve immediately.