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(Serves 2 as an appetizer)
4 oz. favorite variety kale, stems removed,
rinsed well, patted dry, roughly chopped
1 tsp. unsalted butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1 medium shallot, thinly sliced
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup julienned country ham
1 round piece flatbread (lavash)
Extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup fresh ricotta cheese
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. chopped fresh oregano
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper (optional)
Preheat grill to medium-high heat.
Bring one gallon of salted water to a boil in a large pot. Make an ice bath with a large bowl of equal amounts water and ice. When water comes to a boil, add kale and cook for one minute, or until tender. Remove with a spider skimmer or slotted spoon and immediately place it in the ice bath to stop further cooking.
When kale is cool, drain it and squeeze out all the water. Heat butter in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add garlic and shallots and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about two minutes. Add kale and cook for three to four minutes, stirring occasionally, until flavors meld. Lightly season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat. In another sauté pan, cook ham over medium heat until crispy. Drain on a paper towel.
When the grill is hot, brush bread on both sides with olive oil and grill it on both sides until golden brown and crispy. Spread ricotta and Parmesan on one side of bread and place it back on the grill to melt the cheese slightly. When cheese is melted, sprinkle with oregano and top with kale and ham. Sprinkle top with crushed red pepper. Cut and serve.