The great thing about being invited to join a virtual potluck is that you can be fashionably late and the food won’t get cold. Despite being a bit “delayed”, I’m thrilled to be a part of this and introduce you — I mean ya’ll — to Tasia’s Table.
I’ll try to make a long story short, or at least shorter than what’s typical for me. As fate would have it, more than 4 years ago my dear friend and neighbor Stephanie sadly moved from NJ to AL . The story couldn’t be farther from sad, however. Once she survived the initial culture shock, Stephanie embraced her “new life” with the help of her new neighbor and fast friend who happened to be a really amazing woman and entrepreneur named Tasia Malakasis. Missing my old friend a lot, I made several trips down to Stephanie’s new home and met this super cool celebrity cheese-making friend I had heard so much about. Voila! I now had two friends in Alabama! During that first trip (or so my memory tells me) we talked about Tasia writing a cookbook, and I wanted to be involved. Actually I had always wanted to write my own too. So what really happened was that she both motivated and inspired me to do it for myself. … Here we are 4 years later, and both Tasia and I released our first cookbooks this year! Woo hoo!!! What’s even cooler is that the Stephanie I knew in NJ had her own darkroom in the basement of her very old, historic home when I met her, and photography was “just” her hobby. Well…the move to AL brought out the food photographer in her, and I couldn’t be happier for her or more impressed by the beautiful work she did for Tasia’s Table. Maybe I should pour a little bourbon and skype with Stephanie to gush more, but I’m late for that potluck, remember?
So… On a different trip to visit to AL, Tasia was putting on one of her simply perfect “Sunday suppers,” and I was lucky enough to be there. (Even if it means flying across the country, if you ever have the chance to be a guest at one of Tasia’s suppers, GO!) I was so impressed by it all, but I’m hanging on to memories of the “greens pie” and Tasia’s tradition of having the guests share three things they’re thankful for before starting to eat. Since I’m a big greens eater and pie lover myself, that dish really hit home with me, as did the reminder to be grateful and give thanks often. (Not just daily in fact!)
Ok, fast forward to me opening the email about the book release and virtual potluck with instructions to pick which recipe I’d like to make, there was almost no question! Greens pie, baby!
The sad reality of my life right now is that I honestly have no time (and I really mean none) to be making perfect buttery homemade crusts, but as I was standing (no, make that running around) in my kitchen taking care of my family’s needs and wants (and there are many…)
… and thinking about how I’d like to be making the the greens pie recipe, the thought of the greens and goat cheese triggered what I’m calling Tasia’s Greens Pie turns Greens ‘n’ Goat Cheese Toasts in 3 Simple Steps. I happened to have the three simple ingredients required on hand the other day, and I’m thankful I did. It’s my new favorite lunch, dinner and/or appetizer.
I wish Stephanie were here to have photographed these, but trust me, they didn’t even last long enough to get a photo done the first time! If you love goat cheese and ciabatta and think you like kale but don’t know what to do with it, here you go! Expect to see them in my next cookbook. 🙂
Roasted Kale & Chevre Ciabatta
1 bag chopped kale
1 fresh ciabatta loaf
1 log (8 oz) fresh goat cheese, preferably Belle Chevre of course
(I’m not exact on the amounts, but for this one you don’t need to be.)
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Put kale in a large bowl. Drizzle with about 2 or 3 Tbsp olive oil. Toss evenly coat kale, then turn onto a baking sheet. Sprinkle with sea salt. Put in oven to roast for 10 minutes.
2. Slice ciabatta in half lengthwise, then cut into smaller pieces or leave as two long pieces. Spray grill pan or electric skillet with olive oil cooking spray and grill or toast bread on the cut side until golden brown.
3. Spread goat cheese on top of toasted bread and using tongs, top with roasted kale. (You may need to press kale down a bit.)
Serve & enjoy!
Note: Leftovers can be wrapped and refrigerated for several hours or a day. Reheat in oven at 400 degrees for 4 or 5 minutes.
I’m hoping to still get to the greens pie someday… but in the meantime I’ve already picked out a few recipes from the book that I must do, and the first is Fennel Goat Cheese Mash. Oh! So excited for this one, and I’m serving it alongside a simple grilled steak with Tasia’s “compound butter.” Now if that tempts you, then be the first to tell me and you’ll win a free signed copy of Tasia’s Table. Simply email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet me @SusanCGreeley #TasiasTable.
Finally, I’m going to close with 3 things I’m thankful for at the moment. (The first may surprise Tasia to learn that I also have both a Southern and a Greek connection…)
1. My Kentucky-girl mother who made kick-ass chicken ‘n’ dumplings, homemade pies, loved all greens and who claims I was conceived in Greece 🙂 (God bless her!)
2. Sea salt and olive oil (I use them together, so I’m counting them as one.)
3. Virtual potlucks. I’m thankful to be a part of this, Tasia!