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Crostini with saffron-flavoured lentil spread

I bet you have some lentils in your pantry, some greens in your fridge and of course, some bread to make these delicious crostini.

Crostini (literally toasted bread) is what we usually have in Italy as an appetizer before any meal, pretty much like bruschetta, and they go well with any kind of topping - from just olive oil to pesto and veggies.

For this recipe I created an unusual combination, turning a classic hummus into a saffron flavoured lentil spread which I then topped with some stir-fried kale.

You can tweak the recipe depending on what pulses or veggies you have, so feel free to use chickpeas or cannellini beans instead of lentils and any kind of greens instead of kale. And if you don’t have saffron either, get creative and use any spices of your choice.


350g cooked brown lentils (or other pulses)

1 ½ garlic cloves

1 tbsp tahini

1 lemon, juiced

½ tsp powdered saffron (or other spice)

3 ice cubes

Salt to taste

Olive oil

Dry thyme

100g cavolo nero (or other greens)


Thoroughly drain the lentils and blend them together with ½ garlic clove, tahini, lemon juice, saffron and salt. Once the mixture looks smooth, add the ice cubes and keep blending.

Place it in a bowl, top with olive oil and thyme and set aside in the fridge to cool.

Meanwhile, in a pan, heat a splash of olive oil together with a garlic clove, chop up some kale and stir-fry all together. Add a bit of water, bring over low heat, cover and cook for 15 minutes.

Slice some sourdough, preferably wholemeal, approximately 6x6 cm and toast it on both sides. Spread the lentil “hummus” on the crostini, top with kale and sesame seeds.

They are the perfect finger food for a homemade aperitivo!

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