from Chef Joy Crump of Foode in Fredericksburg, VA
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
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.
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
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
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.
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.
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.
Pulse pine nuts and garlic in a food processor until coarsely chopped.
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.