Keeping with its proximity to the Greenpoint waterfront, Five Leaves is a nautically inspired eatery. The window advertises the place as an oyster bar and the cozy, wooden décor gives the feeling of having a meal on the Pequod.
Because it does not accept reservations, the lines can end up winding down Bedford Avenue, but regulars know that chef Ken Addington’s food is well worth the wait. Carnivores can get their fill with dishes like lemongrass braised rabbit and grilled gianonne chicken. Vegetarians can enjoy salads that are more like full meals, such as the mountainous chopped black kale. For a hefty breakfast before setting sail for work, try the crushed giant bean bruschetta served with dandelion pesto.
Crushed Giant Bean Bruschetta w/ Dandelion Pesto
Dandelions are a delicious bitter green that is at its peak in springtime. This is an easy, tasty recipe that Five Leaves has on the menu, at the moment, as morning snack. The Mediterranean flavor are great for a sunny afternoon in Greenpoint with a glass of Rose looking over McCarren Park.
1c Gigante Beans (or other White Bean) Soaked overnight
4 Cloves of Garlic
1 Bay Leaf
1 tsp Sumac
1 tsp ground coriander seed
1c Clean Dandelion Greens
1c Clean Basil
½ c Pine Nuts
¼ Freshly Grated Parmesan
Fresh Black Pepper
4 Cloves Garlic
¼ c Olive Oil
Rinse Beans and cover w/ 3c cold water along with 4 Cloves Garlic and bay leaf. Bring to a simmer and cook until soft, about an Hour and a half.
Remove from heat and let beans cool in their liquid. Strain off bean liquid, reserving 2 Tbs and transfer beans to a metal or ceramic bowl. With a dinner fork lightly crush together the beans and garlic then fold in cooking liquid, Olive Oil and other ingredients and set aside to let flavors come together.
For the Pesto: Blanch the Basil and Dandelion Greens for 1 min in boiling salted water. Shock in ice water, drain and pat dry. In a food processor pulse together Pine Nuts and Garlic, add greens and cheese and blend while slowly adding the olive oil. Should end up a as a rough paste.
Drizzle some thick slices of Baguette or sourdough Bread with Olive oil and grill or broil until toasted, rub toast with raw garlic clove the top with generous amount of the pesto and the crushed beans. Garnish with thinly sliced Green Onions and a little Olive Oil.
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