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Smoked Provolone with Broccoli Rabe Pesto

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Ingredients

1 pound smoked provolone, cut into ½-inch thick rounds

1 recipe Broccoli Rabe Pesto (recipe follows)

Loaf of rustic bread, sliced

Broccoli Rabe Pesto

1 cup lightly toasted pine nuts

1 pound broccoli rabe, blanched then rough chopped (use stems as well)


1 garlic clove, crushed

1 bunch parsley (leaves and stems, rough chopped)

¾ cup extra virgin olive oil


¾ cup grated asiago


Juice of 1 lemon


Salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Have your deli or grocer slice a log of good quality smoked provolone into ½-inch thick rounds; they will be about 2 ounces each and should be the size of a small saucer (about 4 inches in diameter). Note: Using standard sandwich slices of provolone will result in the cheese burning instead of melting so be sure to get thick slices cut.
  2. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Place a slice of provolone in a small, oven­proof container ideally the same size around as cheese. Heat cheese until it begins to melt and bubble, about 4 minutes. Remove pan and top each round with a hefty tablespoon of Broccoli Rabe Pesto. Serve hot with warm, rustic bread for dipping.

Broccoli Rabe Pesto
Yield: 1 pint

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spread pine nuts evenly on cookie sheet and toast in oven for 4 minutes or until just beginning to brown. Do not scorch. Immediately transfer pine nuts to plate to cool.
  3. Bring a medium stock pot of water to a boil (about 4 quarts). While water is heating, prepare an ice bath by filling a large mixing bowl halfway with ice and topping with enough water to make ice float.
  4. When water boils, drop broccoli rabe into pot and boil for 6 seconds. It should be bright green but still crisp. Use tongs to remove broccoli rabe from boiling water and transfer to ice water bath.
  5. Pulse pine nuts and garlic in a food processor until coarsely chopped.
  6. Drain broccoli rabe and add, along with parsley, and pulse until finely chopped. Transfer to a bowl. Stir in olive oil, asiago, and lemon juice. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
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