Pane Toscano (“Tuscan bread”) is adored for its hearty flavour and mild sweetness. Tuscany’s renowned saltess bread is used in many of the regional soups, and has gained popular use for crostone recipes. Crostone comes from the Italian term for little crusts (“crostino”), and is authentic Italian bread toasted or grilled to hold a topping. Our resident chef Francesco Marrucelli brings you his recipe for Crostone with Kale and Cannellini Beans — a light starter or snack that exalts the remarkable flavours of freshly pressed Extra-virgin olive oil.
The lacinato kale and garlic cloves come together as the main spices for this dish, enhanced with chilli flakes. The herby flavour of the kale spikes the buttery cannellini beans, all soothing the crusty base of baked Tuscan bread. The bread's thin crust is perfect for soaking up the Extra-virgin olive oil, the green gold of Tuscany that brings this starter a tantalising aftertaste.
Crostone with Kale & Cannellini Beans
Serves 8 Crostoni - Cook in 40 minutes plus overnight to soak cannellini
- Bunch of lacinato/dinosaur kale, stems removed
- 200g cannellini beans, soaked overnight & boiled
- 8 slices of Tuscan bread
- Garlic clove, halved
- Extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- Pinch of chilli flakes
- Salt & pepper
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius (°C). Wash the kale, remove all the stems and boil in salted water for approximately 20 minutes.
While the kale boils, place some EVOO in a frying pan, and sauté the halved garlic with a pinch of chilli. Add the drained, boiled kale and cannellini beans into the frying pan, and continue to sauté for a couple of minutes.
Place slices of Tuscan bread on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 10 minutes until golden, turning halfway through. Top the slices of bread with the kale and cannellini mix, seasoning to taste. Serve warm, dressing with a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil. Buon appetito!