Curly Kale and Ricotta Salata on Crackers

This little appetizer packs a ton of flavor and looks amazing too. I came up with this hors d’oeuvres when I was making an egg frittata with kale, leeks and ricotta cheese. The combination of kale and ricotta cheese tasted so good when I was prepping them for the eggs, that I decided to try this combination of ingredients in an appetizer. The opportunity presented itself perfectly when I had a couple of friends over for tea one afternoon.

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I really really wanted to keep our tea light and a relatively healthy affaire. I served heirloom tomatoes with salt and pepper and pickled onions, this appetizer of crackers with seasoned ricotta and wilted curly kale, along with a selection of nuts, cheese, and fresh fruit.

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Curly Kale and Ricotta Salata on Crackers

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 tbsp chopped chives or green onions
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1 small bunch curly kale (about 4 cups) finely cut
  • 4-6 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper or paprika
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Chrysanthemum petal for garnish (optional)

Directions:

  • In a bowl mix together ricotta cheese, salt, pepper, chives, and thyme. Set aside.

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  • In a pan heat 1 tbsp oil and sauté garlic until slightly browned and crisp on the edges.
  • Add kale leaves, salt, and paprika or cayenne pepper and sauté about 2-3 minutes until the kale is soft and wilted.  Turn the stove off.

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  • When ready to assemble the hors d’oeuvres, place a dollop of ricotta cheese on each cracker, and top with kale leaves.

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Since it was autumn when I made the appetizer and I so love adding edible flowers in my foods, I garnished the crackers with a few dark burgundy edible chrysanthemum petals.

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Cook’s Notes:  This is a great make ahead appetizer. Just sauté kale and keep it ready, and do the same with the ricotta mixture. Then all you do is assemble and serve when guests arrive.

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