“On every holiday, my mom, Mary Ann White, made creamed spinach. And she used fresh spinach, never frozen,” chef Michael White says proudly. The chef opts for kale to top little brioche rounds, which he toasts in butter for this appetizer. You can use almost any variety of kale here, from curly to dinosaur to red Russian.
Slideshow:Great Vegetarian Appetizers
3/4 pound mixed mushrooms, such as cremini, oyster and shiitake, stemmed and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon dry sherry
1/2 cup heavy cream
Freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
How to Make It
Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Add the kale and cook until just tender, about 2 minutes. Drain, pressing out the excess water.
Using a 1 1/2-inch round cookie or biscuit cutter, punch out 32 rounds from the brioche slices (you can save the scraps to toast and grind for bread crumbs). In a large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter. Add half of the brioche rounds and toast over low heat, turning once, until golden, 3 minutes. Transfer the rounds to a work surface. Wipe out the skillet. Add 2 more tablespoons of butter and let it melt. Add the remaining brioche rounds and toast.
Wipe out the skillet and melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in it. Add the shallots, garlic and thyme and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook until just tender, about 5 minutes. Add the kale and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the sherry and cook until evaporated. Add the cream, season with salt and pepper and cook until thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the parsley. Spoon the mixture onto the toasts and serve warm.
The kale-mushroom mixture can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.
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