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.
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.
Curly Kale and Ricotta Salata on Crackers with Chrysanthemum Petals
- 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)
- In a bowl mix together ricotta cheese, salt, pepper, chives, and thyme. Set aside.
- 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.
- When ready to assemble the hors d’oeuvres, place a dollop of ricotta cheese on each cracker, and top with kale leaves.
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.
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.