Here we go kiddies!
I used my favorite Crostini recipe for this, which is simple, flavorful, and pairs well with almost any topping for a 10 minute appetizer.
2 Baguettes, fresh or a couple days old is fine but it depends on your preference
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Fresh cracked black pepper
Dried Oregano and Dried Thyme
Preheat over to 425 degrees. Cut your Baguette into 1/4 inch slices on a bias to create a nice long surface area. Place slices on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle sea salt first over the slices, then a pinch of each thyme and oregano on each piece. Dried Herbs tend to weather the hot oven better, but you may use fresh if you like. Finally crack the black pepper over the slices of bread. Insert into oven for 8-10 minutes until lightly toasted around the edges.
It is ok to let the Crostini cool while you cook the rest of the recipe. You can even prepare them a day in advance.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 small sweet apples, diced
1 large onion, diced
6 cloves of garlic, minced
1 bunch Italian kale, chopped small
1/4 cup golden raisins
2 tblspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon black bean sauce
1/4 cup orange juice
1 lemon, zest and juice
1 leek, sliced into thin rings
1/2 tsp kosher salt
fresh cracked pepper to taste
3 shakes of marjoram
1 tsp basil or thai basil, chopped
2 tblspoon peanut butter or favorite peanut sauce
2 tblspoon brown sugar ( if using peanut butter)
1 teaspoon chili paste or sweet hot sauce
Follow directions to cook 1 cup Quinoa, using 3 cloves garlic and leeks to season water and add 1/2 tsp kosher salt
Lace a large saute pan with olive oil and set to medium heat. Place onions, apples and garlic in the pan. Sprinkle in kosher salt and let sweat until onions are translucent. Add in soy sauce and orange juice, and squeeze in juice of half a lemon. Add kale and let wilt for about 10 minutes. By this time the apples will have broken down, add raisins. Add peanut Butter, black bean sauce, brown sugar and chili paste or hot sauce. let ingredients mix. Add spices. Once quinoa is cooked, mix into saute pan with other ingredients. The extra moisture ion the quinoa should make the sauce just thick enough to coat. If it looks gummy, thats ok. The moisture is only important in that it helps make the salad stick on the Crostini. If it looks too dry, mix in a small amount of stock or water. Turn off heat.
Once mixture is ready, spoon a tablespoon onto each crostini. Place back in 400 degree over for 10 minutes. The excess moisture from the salad will help make the bread a bit soft in the center while the edges will get a bit crispier. Remove from oven, let cool 5 minutes, and garnish how you like. I used small julienned orange bell peppers, but a sprig of thai basil or cilantro would work as well. Be on the lookout for salty fried raisins that may have fallen off a crostini. Eat them fast because they are a delicious pre-appetizer treat!
This is kind of a super food bonanza. You have fruits and vegetables, Quinoa which is high in protein and fiber, hearty kale for iron and nutrients, and good fats and protein from peanut butter. I felt really good and full after eating this. It is earthy and bright and savory and sweet all at the same time. I’m also happy to answer any substitution questions! Enjoy.