Friday, March 16, 2018

Giada's Kale Salsa Verde Bruschetta with Fresh Mozzarella and 10 Other Favorite "Greens" Recipes

Kale... people tend to love it or hate it. I am in the first camp, but even if you hate kale, you should try Giada De Laurentiis's Kale Salsa Verde spooned onto crisp, toasted ciabatta bread and topped with pieces of fresh burrata or mozzarella and toasted pine nuts. The bruschetta makes a great light lunch or appetizer and is a tasty way to sneak some greens into your day.

I made a few changes to Giada's recipe--mainly reducing the amount of olive oil to reduce the fat and calories. I grabbed the sun-dried tomatoes from the olive bar of my local grocery store where I ciabatta in 'rolls' that I split in half and worked just as well as a full loaf. Although I adore burrata, a small ball of it was $12 and a bigger piece of fresh mozzarella was $7, so that's what I used. My changes are noted in red below. 

Kale Salsa Verde Bruschetta with Fresh Mozzarella
Slightly Adapted from Burrata & Kale Salsa Verde by Giada De Laurentiis,
(Serves 6)

Salsa Verde:
1 1/2 cups chopped Tuscan kale (about 8 large leaves)
1 clove garlic, smashed (I used a really large clove)
3 Tbsp capers, drained and rinsed (I didn't drain and rinse them)
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp anchovy paste
kosher salt (see note below)
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil (I used 2 Tbsp--see notes below)

1 loaf ciabatta bread, cut in half horizontally 
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil (I used about 2 Tbsp)
8 oz burrata or fresh mozzarella (about 2 medium balls)
3 Tbsp pine nuts, toasted
8 oil-marinated sun-dried tomatoes, roughly chopped

For the salsa verde: In the bowl of a food processor, pulse together the kale and garlic until roughly chopped. Add the capers, vinegar, Dijon mustard, anchovy paste and 3/8 teaspoon salt and pulse 1 or 2 times more. Add the olive oil and run the processor for 5 seconds. Set aside to let the flavors marry. (In order to have enough liquid to loosen the kale but not have to use all of the oil, I used a trick I use when I make pesto. After washing the kale well, I don't drain it and instead of cutting it, I tear it with my hands as I put it in the food processor. Enough water usually clings to the curled leaves to make the salsa verde smooth, but you can also add a little extra water if needed. I also don't rinse and drain the capers as I like the briny taste. Giada adds 3/8 of a teaspoon of salt but with the anchovy paste, un-drained capers and other ingredients, I found it didn't need much salt and used just a small pinch of sea salt.)

To assemble the bruschetta: Preheat a grill pan over high heat. Drizzle both halves of the bread evenly with the olive oil. (Rather than drizzle all of the oil, I used a little olive oil, brushed on with a pastry brush.) Grill on each side until golden brown and charred in a few spots, about 2 minutes per side. Remove the bread to a cutting board. Spoon the salsa verde evenly over each half of the bread. Tear the burrata over the salsa verde and sprinkle the pine nuts and tomatoes evenly over the tops. Cut each bread half into slices and serve.

Notes/Results: Bright and colorful and lots of delicious flavor,this is a yummy bruschetta that I think even kale-haters will enjoy (if you don't tell them there's kale in it!). ;-) It really tastes like a spinach pesto and any bitterness of the kale is disguised by the other ingredients. I like the pop of acidity and brine from the capers, vinegar and mustard and the garlic and anchovy paste add a depth of flavor. With the creamy cheese, toasty nuts and slightly sweet tomatoes on top, it hits all of the buttons. I didn't miss the extra olive oil I omitted and I think my leftover salsa verde (I only made a couple of the ciabatta rolls into bruschetta) would also be delicious stirred into rice or pasta. I will happily make these again.

In honor of tomorrow being St. Patrick's Day, here are ten of my favorite recipes featuring kale or other greens:

Giada knows her greens and sandwiches, her Grilled Cheese with Spinach is ridiculously good.

Diana Henry's Salmon Hash has a spinach in with the chunks of potato and salmon--so delicious!

I added kale to Diana Henry's buttery Cabbage and Leek Colcannon. A great recipe to celebrate St. Patrick's Day with. 

Heidi Swanson's 5-Minute (Egg) Breakfast Tacos have micro-greens in them. I make these often for a quick breakfast.

Speaking of her talent with greens and eggs, Heidi Swanson's Kale Rice Bowl with Egg and Fried Capers is marvelous. 

Tessa Kiros's Portuguese Purslane Soup is a delicious use of a unique green--I still dream about this soup. ;-)

Mark Bittman's Chinese-Style Peanut Soup with Tofu and Bok Choy is the perfect way to enjoy Asian greens.

One of my favorite Ottolenghi soups was his tasty Swiss Chard-filled Herb, Chard and Feta Soup

You can't do a greens roundup without a green juice recipe and Curtis Stone's Ginger-Apple Green Juice is one of my favorites. 

Finally, I can't leave out Nigel Slater's Pan-Fried Apple and Cheese Salad--served on a bed of spinach. Still one of my all-time favorite salads.

I'm linking this post up at I Heart Cooking Clubs where it this week is our Monthly Featured Ingredient Challenge -- Greens!

Because bruschetta is like a mini open-faced sandwich, I'm also linking it up to Souper Sundays, here at Kahakai Kitchen. Each Sunday we feature delicious soups, salads, and sandwiches from friends around the blogosphere--please join in if you have any to share. Here's this week's post and linkup 


Happy Aloha Friday and have a Happy St. Patrick's Day tomorrow!


  1. All the recipes look so good. I would like to try many of them. Yum.

  2. I love the sound of the kale bruschetta and the round up caught my eye, too! Purslane grows wild in my home state. I may get a chance to try that soup.

  3. Thanks for telling me about this recipe and sharing with me all your tips for making it lighter. It was delicious! I'm trying to figure out how to pack up the components so I can take it for lunch. With all the color, flavor and texture it would be the perfect pick me up at lunchtime.

    Nigel's spinach salad with apples and cheese is calling my name!

  4. There are so many good green combinations to choose from. All sound so amazing.


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