Monday, April 12, 2010

Flatbread with Crispy Lacinato Kale and Tarentaise Cheese

Kale is a primitive form of cabbage that does not form a head.  It is an extremely versatile vegetable, popular in many regions of the world whether served on its own or in any number of soups, pastas, salads and even Irish colcannon mashed potatoes.  Kale is so rich in nutrients that it was mandated in many World War II-era victory gardens to prevent malnutrition due to rationing.  To name just some of its nutritional benefits, kale is a good source of protein, fiber, beta carotene, calcium, folate, iron, and vitamins C, B6, and E.
Kale is a cool-weather crop which actually tastes better after a frost, so here in Houston we started our seeds last October.  We are growing Lacinato kale which goes by many other names including Cavolo Nero, Black Cabbage, Tuscan Kale and Dinosaur Kale.  Kale is easy to start from seed (our seeds are from Botanical Interests) and has few pests.   The plants are absolutely gorgeous, making this type of kale ideal for an ornamental border that includes vegetables; visitors to our garden are instantly drawn to the blue color and amazing texture of our Lacinato plants.  Add in kale's long list of nutritional benefits and delicious flavor, and you'll see why kale is a great addition to any vegetable garden.  
We have written often about our ongoing love affair with flatbread.  We posted a whole series of recipes earlier this year, including an easy and versatile flatbread dough recipe.  The response we received was tremendous, confirming that we are not alone in this passion.  This week, we are posting three new recipes using the vegetables we are now harvesting in the garden including kale, bunching onions, and leafy broccoli rabe.  And of course, cheese is always featured in our flatbreads.
Here we present a delicious flatbread topped with crispy lacinato kale.  The trick is to cook the kale in advance, using a bunching onion, shallot and garlic to add flavor.  In the oven, the kale leaves crisp up on a bed of gooey melted cheese.  We were lucky to find Tarentaise, a wonderful cow's milk cheese that is buttery and nutty in flavor, for our flatbread.  This cheese melts well in the oven and adds dimension to the flavor of the kale, but Gruyere would be an excellent substitute if you can't find Tarentaise.
Flatbread with Crispy Lacinato Kale and Tarentaise Cheese


1                       ball flatbread dough, at room temp for 5 minutes before rolling
1/4      cup        olive oil
1/2                    shallot, minced
1                       medium green bunching onion stalk, thinly sliced
                         (see photo below)
1/2                    garlic clove, minced
10                     medium lacinato kale leaves, chopped
                         sea salt and black pepper to taste
1         Tbs        olive oil
1/4       lb          Tarentaise or Gruyere cheese, thinly sliced

  1. Preheat oven to 450° and place pizza stone in oven.
  2. Heat olive oil over moderate heat, then saute shallot, onion and garlic until softened, about 8 minutes.
  3. Reduce heat slightly to low, add kale and cover, stirring occasionally, until kale is tender, about 12 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper and remove from heat.
  4. Roll out flatbread dough on well-floured surface, then generously cover peel with cornmeal and place rolled-out dough on peel.
  5. Spread 1 Tbs olive oil on flatbread, then add about 2/3's of the cheese.  Add kale, then sprinkle remaining cheese on top.  Sprinkle with a bit of sea salt and black pepper.
  6. Bake until cheese is melted and crust is golden, about 5 minutes.
  7. Eat immediately.
Printable Recipe
      Other Flatbread Recipes Coming This Week:
      Flatbread with Leafy Broccoli Rabe and Stinky Goat Cheese
      and Flatbread with Grilled Haloumi Cheese and Spiced Pears
      And check out our other popular flatbread recipes:
      Flatbread with Sauteed Brussels Sprouts, Walnuts and Shaved Parmesan
      Flatbread with Roasted Golden Beets, Goat Cheese and Chestnut Honey
      Flatbread with Gorgonzola Dulce, Grapes and Walnuts
      Flatbread with Broccoli Rabe and Manchego
      Flatbread with French Sorrel, Roasted Cauliflower and Goat Cheese


        1. Yes please! Delicious.Another great way to have delicious kale!

        2. You've done it again! Another recipe I want to try right away!

        3. What a great way to use one of my favorite vegetables!

        4. funny, I have never seen kale sold around here but there are plenty of other greens I can substitute. great looking recipe

        5. I love, love, love Tuscan Kale (Cavolo Nero)... This recipe looks delicious enough to have at any time of the day. Beautiful!

        6. Another one of your beautiful flat breads, I love anything with kale, this one must be definitely a winner!

        7. Love this - the combo of kale and cheese on the flatbread sounds just perfect!

        8. Yum! You need to check out Penny aka Jeroxie's thing that I do - the International Incident Parties. We pick food and everyone makes their interpretation of the dish and posts simultaneously - last time it was gnocchi, this time it's ... pizza!!! It's open to anyone who wants to do it Check her blog for the rules and deets!

        9. What a lovely flatbread recipe! Kale is such a hearty and healthy food, and I try to work it into as many recipes as I can.

          I'm glad to see that the printable recipe pages worked out for you.

        10. I love your flatbread recipes, this definitely looks worth a try. I'm sure it would be a big hit at our house.

        11. this looks great! a sneaky way to eat healthy. ;)

        12. That's another delicious flatbread using your bountiful harvest.

        13. Thanks for that info on Kale, we dont get it down here. I like the way you so love your veggies!

        14. Kale and Chesse on bread...sign me up! This looks delicious=}

        15. kale lacinato is great as a detox...i have some blemishes because of my eczema and now it's now gone after jucing up kale in the blender with honey

        16. Where can you get lacinato kale?


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