Russell's Herb Jam and Ricotta Crostini

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We have a lovely partnership with Spinster Sisters, one of our favorite local eateries. Recently Chef Liza Hinman taught a cooking class at Avalow featuring this and other recipes. Check out the rest of the menu, location, hours, etc. at



4 garlic cloves, halved
1 pound of greens, such as Swiss chard, arugula, spinach
1 cup packed flat-leaf parsley leaves
1 cup packed mint leaves
1/2 cup packed cilantro leaves
1/2 cup packed tarragon leaves
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup black olives, such as Nicoise, pitted and roughly chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Pinch of cayenne
Salt, to taste
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, plus more to taste
1 loaf rustic country style bread
Fresh ricotta cheese


  1. Place the garlic in a large steamer basket that is set over a pot of boiling water; top garlic with the greens and all of the herbs. Cover and steam until the greens and herbs have wilted and the garlic has softened, about 30 minutes. Remove the greens, herbs and garlic and allow to cool. Pick out the garlic and set it aside. Squeeze the greens and herbs dry of any excess water, finely chop and set aside.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped greens and herbs to the pan and cook, stirring often to cook most of the moisture out of the greens, about 15 minutes. Adjust the heat to medium-low and add the garlic and olives. Using a wooden spoon, mash the garlic into the green mixture and stir to combine. Add the cumin and cayenne and cook until fragrant, about 5 minutes.
  3. Remove the skillet from heat. Season the herb jam with salt and stir in the remaining olive oil. Transfer the jam to a nonreactive bowl; cover and store in refrigerator for up to 5 days. To serve, mix in the lemon juice and allow the herb jam to come to room temperature. Slice the bread and lightly toast. Top with the ricotta, herb jam and a drizzle of olive oil.