(post by Julie)
I eat a lot of hummus. A LOT of hummus. Any time of day, any meal or snack, there’s nothing that seems to satisfy like the ground up garbanzo. My standard breakfast is hummus on a tortilla, toasted in a cheerful little omelette pan I picked up at Room Service on North Loop.
I live with someone who eats about as much kale as I do hummus. His name is Nate. He has consented to having his picture posted here:
On any given night, it’s safe to say that you can open my refrigerator and find two things: kale and hummus.
Of course, store-bought hummus, particularly in the quantities I tend to consume, runs more than a pretty penny (not to mention adds serious bulk to my recycling bin; those little plastic tubs go FAST). To save money, cut down on the mountain of plastic, and because food processors are fun, I’ve recently fallen back into the habit of making my own variations on the mashed up chick pea.
Hummus is one of my favorite things to make, in part because it’s just so dang simple. A can of chickpeas, a little lemon juice, a clove or six of garlic, a scoop of tahini and some spices and you’re well on your way to Hummus Town. (Yes, there’s an official dance for Hummus Town. No, I won’t do it here.)
As the long summer days have afforded me more time in the kitchen, I’ve been experimenting with new flavor combinations. Roasted zucchini, orange and yellow bell peppers, and smoked paprika have all been on the hit list. My real goal, though, has been to add not only flavor to my garbanzos, but to also pack in some serious nutritional punch.
Enter the Miracle of Monday Night.
Hungry. Tired. Work-weary. I drop a handful of kale in Nate’s bowl and decide this is it. This is the moment. I’m going to do it. Kale in my hummus.
Ingredients (Quantities Approximate)
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 cup (maybe a bit more) chopped kale
3 cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon (maybe a touch more) red pepper flakes
pinch of salt
1 can garbanzo beans
1 tablespoon tahini
the juice of 1/4 of a small lemon
1/4 cup vegetable broth
pinch of pepper
What I Did (Instructions for a Miracle)
While the coconut oil warmed in a pan, I peeled and pressed the garlic on a cutting board. There was no need to chop the cloves, as they’re going into a food processor, but I like to press garlic to get its juices going. I dropped the cloves in the oil and let them cook long enough to let that garlicky goodness mingle with and infuse the distinct flavor of the coconut oil.
Into the pan: I added the kale and coated it in the oil, then sprinkled with salt and red pepper flakes and let it cook over low-to-medium heat until just wilted (about three to five minutes). Then I turned off the heat and removed the pan from the burner. The pan still had plenty of heat (not to mention the heat in the oil), so the kale did continue to cook a bit after I removed it from the flame.
Into the food processor: Garbanzo beans, tahini, lemon juice, pepper. On top of that I added everything in the kale pan, scraping in as much of the oil as I could. Then I blended that baby until it was as smooth as I wanted it, stopping occasionally to taste for salt (it didn’t need any, though I’m not a salty cook and tend to use it more sparingly than others) and to add a touch more veggie broth for moisture.
Disclaimers: This does not make a smooth, creamy, store-style hummus. I don’t use enough oil or tahini to make that happen. What this does make is a hearty dip that bowled me over with its complex combination of the savory characters of coconut oil, lemon, garlic and, of course, my hero, kale. The texture and consistency reminded me of spinach artichoke dip. This is easily a hummus I would serve at a festive gathering just as soon as I would eat it with saltine crackers standing in my kitchen going, “Oh, wow. Wow. Wow.” Which may or may not be exactly what happened last night…..