Friday, May 7, 2010

Flatbread with Kale, Swiss Chard, Pine Nuts, Currants, Brown Butter and Ricotta Salata

Leafy greens provide amazing colors, textures and shapes in the garden.   They are now reaching their peak before giving in to our hot, humid weather.  These three greens in particular, Swiss chard, lacinato kale, and collards, are not only beautiful but also among the most nutritious vegetables around.   Swiss chard, a member of the beet family, is loaded with folate, vitamins C, E and K, iron and calcium.  Kale and collards, both members of the brassica family, provide protein and iron in addition to fiber, folate, calcium and several important vitamins.
For this recipe, the greens are combined and cooked ahead of time in brown butter.  The nutty tones of the butter give the greens a rich, deep flavor; the brown butter also harmonizes the distinct flavors of the three greens.  The subtle color differences of the cooked greens are especially attractive with the red currants, brown pine nuts and white cheese that are loaded on top.  Feel free to substitute other leafy greens such as spinach, leafy cabbage, Asian greens, or beet greens, or to change the proportions to fit what you have on hand.
Flatbread with Kale, Swiss Chard, Currants, Pine Nuts, Brown Butter and Ricotta Salata

Brown Butter

8             Tbs          unsalted butter


3              Tbs         brown butter
1              Tbs         dry currants
2              cups        kale, washed, stems removed and cut into thick strips
2              cups        Swiss chard, washed, stems removed and cut into thick strips, 
                              1/8 cup of stems reserved
2              cups        collard greens (or spinach or asian greens), washed, 
                              stems removed and cut into thick strips
1              Tbs          olive oil
1/2                         garlic clove, minced
                              sea salt and black pepper
1              Tbs          pine nuts, toasted
1                            flatbread dough, at room temp for 5 minutes before rolling out
1/2           cup         ricotta salata, crumbled
                              flour for rolling out dough and corn meal for peel


Brown Butter

  1. Melt butter in small saucepan over low heat.
  2. First, butter will separate, with the milk solids settling to the bottom of the pan. 
  3. After 8 to 10 minutes, butter will turn dark amber color.  Remove from heat, and line a strainer with a paper towel.
  4. Pour butter through paper towel into a measuring cup to remove the solids.
  5. Use immediately, or store in refrigerator.
  1. Turn oven to 450° and place shelf in top third of oven.  Place pizza stone on shelf and heat, ideally for one hour before baking flatbread.
  2. Soak the currants in 1/4 cup hot water to plump them.
  3. Cut reserved 1/8 cup of Swiss chard stems on a diagonal into very thin slices. 
  4. Heat olive oil in large pan over medium.  Add chard stems, garlic, 1/4 cup water (or vegetable broth), and pinches of sea salt and black pepper.  Saute about 1 minute, then add kale.  After 1 minute, add remaining chard and collards, plus 1/4 tsp sea salt and a few pinches of pepper.
  5. Raise temperature to medium-high and saute until greens are just tender, about 3 minutes.
  6. Reduce heat to medium low and add brown butter, currants and pine nuts.  Cook briefly, then season with salt and pepper.
  7. Roll out flatbread on well-floured surface.  Sprinkle cornmeal liberally on peel to prevent sticking.
  8. Spread thin layer of olive oil on flatbread, then spread out half the cheese.
  9. Add greens mixture, then top with remaining cheese.
  10. Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper.
  11. Bake until bread is golden brown and puffed, about 5 minutes.  Serve immediately.
Printable Recipe
Other flatbread recipes from Vegetable Matter:
Flatbread with Swiss Chard Puree, Tomme de Savoie and Fake Bacon
Flatbread with Crispy Lacinato Kale and Tarentaise Cheese
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. What a georgous & ooh so tasty & healthy looking flatbread!!

    It screams: EAT ME!!!

  2. I love the picture with the three greens! And this flatbread sounds terrific, I like the addition of currants!

  3. I'm looking at this recipe and so missing the kale from my garden :(

    But I think I might have to pick some up to make this. I'm a sucker for brown butter and kale.

  4. Brown butter gives such an amazing flavor to everything. I love your flatbread pizzas so much!

  5. Your pic reminded me of something funny. I saw a site recently that had kale in its name. But the logo pic showed what looked like to me as romaine or something like that. It clearly wasn't kale. You've got another great post!

  6. Think I'll make this tonight for the Lakers Celtics final game!!

  7. Robin, Your blog is great and I think the pictures are fantastic. I have a small business in Portland, Oregon and would love to use the above picture of swiss chard on my web site. Would that be okay with you?



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