Crostini con Cavolo Nero e Fagioli Bianchi AKA Black Kale, White Beans, and Toast

This recipe comes from The Italian Mama’s Kitchen and is an appetizer. I don’t know what else to say, except right now I’m having 90s flashbacks because I watched Mortal Kombat on Netflix with some friends recently and this song that is also in Hackers transported me in time and now I can’t get the song out of my head. So as I’m writing this, in my brain my mind is going Beeeeee lalalalala la la, oh weeeee, ohhhhhhhh,ohhhhhhh, beeeee lalalala la la. This song is also known as Halcyon and On and On for those who can’t decipher my lyrical writing.

Now that I’ve released that confession, here’s what you’ll need to make this Italian appetizer. 1/2 cup of dried cannellini, salt, 1 medium tomato, 1 celery stalk, 1 peeled carrrot, 1/2 of an unpeeled medium yellow onion, 6 unpeeled garlic cloves, 1 small bunch (5ish tablespoons) of fresh sage, olive oil, 1 trimmed and washed black kale, a baguette, and black pepper.

Your first step in making this is to soak your beans overnight. I could not find dry cannellini beans, so I skipped this step. What I skipped to, was placing the beans in a pot with cold water and adding the tomato, celery, carrot, onion, three of the cloves of garlic, sage, salt, and a tablespoon of olive oil. For the tomato, by the way, it is recommended to place a cross-wise slit on top. I tried to look up why that is necessary. I know it helps when you want to boil and skin a tomato, but for this recipe, skinning isn’t called for. My best guess is that it prevents the tomato from exploding. I apologize for the lack of credentials.

We are boiling the tomato, as well as the other items. So it’s possible my theory is right. Anyway do that and then let it simmer for 40 minutes. Once that’s done, drain the beans and discard everything else.

The next step is to cook your kale. This recipe calls for black kale. I could not find black kale, but the cookbook claims you can find it at specialty stores. If you don’t feel like searching, just grab purple kale or Italian kale, which is what I did. My grocery store claimed it was Italian anyway. I figured, “Hey this is an Italian recipe, might as well use Italian kale.”

Whatever kale you pick, cover it with water and bring to a boil for about 8 to 10 minutes. Once soft, you will drain and set aside.

As this is happening, the cookbook recommends that you make some garlic toast. To do so, toast your toast and then rub peeled garlic all over it.

Back to the kale now. What you will do with your kale next is cook it in olive oil as well as three peeled garlic cloves. Do this over low heat until the kale has been properly submersed in oil and heat.

Now that your kale is cooked, you can add it to your toast. Before you do so though, sprinkle some olive oil on the toast. Now put that kale on, top it with the beans, and presto! You should have a tasty little appetizer of kale and beans now. Despite my lingo, no magic is actually required. However, if you are magical. Well if you are magical, why bother getting advice on cooking from me? Just Harry Potter it for yourself. Jeez.

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I made my toast long, because I was lazy and eating by myself. If you have friends, you should cut and share.

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