Sauteed Greens Bruschetta with Fresh Mozzarella
1 baguette, sliced diagonally 1/4 inch thick
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, halved, for the toasts, plus 2 more cloves garlic, very finely chopped
1/2 lb. dandelion greens, fresh spinach or arugula, stemmed
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup shredded *fresh mozzarella cheese
Position an oven rack 4 inches below the broiler element, and preheat the broiler. To make the toasts, arrange the baguette slices on a baking sheet and brush on one side with some of the olive oil. Broil until brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Turn the toasts and broil the other side. Remove the toasts from the oven and while warm, rub one side of each toast with the cut surfaces of the halved garlic cloves. Transfer to a rack to cool.
To prepare the greens, in a large, heavy-bottomed saute pan, heat the remaining olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped garlic and cook until fragrant, 45 to 60 seconds. Increase the heat to medium-high, add the greens, season with salt and pepper, and saute, stirring until wilted and tender, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and pour off any excess liquid. Add the mozzarella and stir to combine. Taste and adjust for seasoning with salt and pepper. To assemble, place about 1 tablespoon of the greens mixture on the oiled side of each toast. Serve immediately.
To Make Ahead: The toasts can be made up to 2 days ahead and stored at room temperature in an airtight container.
Serves 4 to 6
*Note: Fresh mozzarella is radically different from the hard “pizza” cheese commonly found in supermarket refrigerator cases. The fresh version, in the form of balls packed in lightly salted brine or whey, is increasingly available in many local markets.
Recipes reprinted with permission from Bon Appétit, Y’all: Recipes and Stories from Three Generations of Southern Cooking by Virginia Willis, copyright © 2008. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House.
To find out more about Chef Virginia Willis and shop her line of “Southern Pantry” products, visit her website. Her cookbook, “Bon Appetit, Y’all,” is also available on the site for $32.50.