Nominated for a 2011 James Beard Cookbook Award in the General Cooking category. For a list of all the finalists check out our James Beard Finalists' Guide.
Excerpted from Heart of the Artichoke by David Tanis (Artisan Books). Copyright 2010.
Photo by Christopher Hirsheimer
Because the bollito is a very hearty meal, you want only a tiny taste of a first course, and since you're going to be having mostly meat, it should preferably be vegetables. So you could prepare a plate of sliced fresh fennel and radishes with salt and lemon-Italian-style crudités. Or make these greens crostini.
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Heat the oil in a wide skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic, red pepper flakes, and anchovies and let them sizzle without browning. Add all the greens to the skillet, with any water from washing still clinging to the leaves, season with salt and pepper, stir well, and put on the lid. Let the greens steam and wilt, stirring once or twice, for about 5 minutes.
- 1/4 cup olive oil, plus extra for the toasts
- 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 4 anchovy fillets, rinsed and chopped
- 4 cups rapini (broccoli rabe), or a mixture of chard, mustard greens, and full-grown spinach leaves, coarsely chopped
- Salt and pepper
- 1 baguette, preferably day-old, sliced into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
- Lemon wedges
Meanwhile, make the toasts. Paint the slices very lightly with olive oil, spread them in one layer on a baking sheet, and bake until barely browned, about 10 minutes. Cool the toasts.
When the greens are wilted but still bright green, transfer them to a platter to cool to room temperature. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
To serve, put a forkful of greens on each toast and squeeze a bit of lemon over the top, or have people make their own. (If you have leftover greens, add them to a pasta or bean soup.)