Wednesday, September 26, 2012

kale, leek, and grape flatbread.

I taught my first cooking class the last week which was kind of a big deal for me since it makes this whole cooking, blogging process feel real. I never thought starting this would amount to much more then a way for me to document my creations but slowly it's grown and it's amazing to watch.  I knew in teaching this class I wanted it to feel special and be personal (because the best classes always are) which meant I wanted to provide them with a parting gift as well as a snack to eat while cooking. It needed to be seasonal and elegant and also show a range of skills and flavors (and handheld to!).  This seemed like a tall order but when I thought about it, I thought about what I love to eat and what I love to make and a flatbread seemed like a great idea.  I decided to start with a base of kale and leeks since the sweet, creamy leeks pair well with the heartier kale.  Since I love the combination of savory and sweet I knew II wanted to incorporate a fruity element.  Apples didn’t seem right but concord grapes seemed perfect.  An explosion of tangy fruit in each bite would offset perfectly with the kale and leeks.  To round out the dish a sprinkle of goat cheese to add an extra bit of creaminess and to bring all the elements together. I found the final result to be visually stunning with the green leeks and purple grapes beautifully contrasting the white goat cheese.  The best part was the taste – sweet and savory in every bite which is just how I like it.  

Kale, Leek, and Grape Flatbread

About 5 cups of kale, sliced into ½ inch ribbons
1 leek, white and light green part only, halved and then cut into half moons
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
½ teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 ½ cups halved and pitted concord grapes (or regular grapes can be used)
3 ounces goat cheese
1 tablespoon Mike’s Hot Honey (or regular honey with a sprinkle of red pepper flakes)
1 batch of pizza dough (recipe here) or store bought dough

In a large sauté pan with lid, heat the butter and 1 tablespoon oil on medium, until the oil is hot and the butter is melted.   Add the leeks to the pan, and turn the heat to low.   Break up the leeks with a wooden spoon, and continue to cook on low until the leeks are soft, about 10 minutes.  Once the leeks have softened, add the kale to the pan and the additional tablespoon of oil, and stir to coat the kale with the leeks and oil.  Cover the pan and allow the kale and leeks to cook for about 10 – 15 minutes, until the kale is soft.  When the kale is soft, add the salt and pepper.  Taste, and adjust seasonings if necessary. 

Preheat your oven to 500 degrees. 

Roll out your dough into a rectangle about 9x13 (it doesn’t need to be perfect!).  Place the dough on your baking sheet.  Sprinkle the dough with the kale and leek mixture.  Scatter the grapes atop the kale and leek mixture and the sprinkle with the goat cheese.  Bake about 10 – 12 minutes until the crust is golden brown.  Remove from the oven and drizzle with honey. 

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