February 26, 2008
Last Saturday I had some week-old kale that was on its last legs, yellowing in its vase. I wasn't sure what to do with it. It didn't fit into my dinner plan of braised lamb and cabbage. Being just a few leaves, it didn't seem like enough to make it worth it to sautee and freeze it for some future meal. And the leaves were too small to make kale chips.
Then Jesse requested an appetizer before dinner. Not wanting to spend money on cheese and crackers or non-local salad greens, I thought about what I had in the kitchen. A can of chickpeas, easily transformable into hummus. And an opportunity to use up old flour to try my hand at making crackers for dipping. But would kale go well with hummus? A quick search on google revealed that it has indeed been done before
in the form of kale and sundried tomato hummus. I didn't have sundried tomatoes on hand, but I went ahead and made it without it.
The kale hummus turned out surprisingly tasty (though my crackers did not). And as I mentioned, it was so good that we ruined our appetite for dinner. In fact, I'm still paying the consequences of this - I've been trying to use up the leftover rice and cabbage in various forms for lunch and dinner all week. I've found that grated parmesan cheese and crushed red pepper work wonders at masking the taste of slimy old braised cabbage.
I recommend only using half a bunch of kale or less so that the kale taste isn't overpowering. While I enjoyed this kale hummus just fine, I can see how it would benefit from sweet sundried tomatoes. But I'll have to wait till tomato season to try that combination, if I ever get around to making my own sundried tomatoes.
1 can chickpeas (or 1 cup chickpeas soaked overnight and simmered for an hour until tender)
few leaves of kale
2 tbsp tahini
1 tbsp olive oil
2 fat cloves garlic
Tear or chop kale into pieces, discarding thick stems. Place in a pot with half an inch of simmering water and cover until steamed(wilted). Remove kale from pot and let cool.
Combine first six ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. Add remaining spices to taste and process again. Add water if needed until hummus reaches a creamy consistency. Serve with pita or crackers.