Sometimes it just doesn't get much better than a really good whole wheat loaf of bread. And while it's easy to OD at a party or restaurant with the bread basket lurking nearby, a smartly sliced and donned crostini can be a healthy start to a dinner. This rustic hummus and kale crostini appetizer is winter perfection. I say rustic, because honestly the chickpeas are hand mashed instead of hummus puree perfection. Rustic is a great coverup descriptor for slightly sloppy.

The hearty bread base with a thick chickpea spread and lemon zested kale chiffonade is like a balanced meal in a bite. The whole wheat and kale provide a healthy dose of fiber while the chickpeas give protein-all which will keep you full longer and less likely to circle the appetizer table like a vulture. Instead of relying on a high fat spread (lookin' at you artichoke dip) for flavor, lemon, thyme and a bit of salt add flavor without extra calories.

Rustic Hummus & Kale Crostini


  • whole wheat baguette, sliced on the diagonal
  • 1, 15 oz can of chickpeas
  • 1 T plus enough to drizzle, olive oil
  • fresh thyme
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 lemon, juice and zest
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 C raw kale
Directions: Slice the baguette thinly on a diagonal. Drizzle with olive oil and toast in the oven. In a bowl, add rinsed chickpeas. Mince garlic, nearly to a paste, and add to the chick peas. Pour 1 T olive oil into the chickpea mix with salt, pepper, and  lemon juice to taste. Mash ingredients in the bowl. Remove the toasted baguette and slather on the hummus. Chiffonade the kale and arrange onto. Sprinkle fresh time and lemon zest over the top.
What do you make that's...."rustic"?