Warm bean and kale dip

 

A change from traditional hummus and surprisingly moreish. Why not try a warm dip with fresh bread or crispy crackers. Economical and useful for using up those last bits of cheese and ideal if you have leftover kale in the fridge.

 

Ingredients:

1 large tin of white beans-I used butter beans but cannellini or haricot will be just as good

1 small onion/shallot (small leeks will do if no onions to hand)

Olive or rapeseed oil

A good handful of blanched & chopped fresh cavolo nero (spinach or chard is a good substitute or use frozen kale)

Crushed garlic clove or a sprinkling of dried garlic-I actually used the last of some frozen wild garlic from last spring

Chilli flakes to taste, around 2 good pinches (dried chilli powder or a finely chopped fresh chilli is OK but be aware of the heat)

White wine or vermouth (this can be omitted if none to hand-substitute with a vegetable bouillon/stock)

Parmesan cheese or any hard cheese you have-if using a vegan style cheese make sure  you can grate it and that it has good flavour. If you prefer not to use cheese or a substitute try using lightly toasted sesame seeds instead.

 

 

Method

Heat a tablespoon of oil in a frying pan, add the finely chopped onion/shallot/leeks and sauté for a couple of minutes. Add the garlic and chilli stirring to amalgamate before adding the kale, add enough wine/vermouth/stock to cover and simmer for a few minutes until everything has softened. While this is cooking drain the beans, retaining the liquid. Blitz the beans with a tablespoon of olive oil, a little seasoning and some of the liquid from the beans until smooth, don’t add too much liquid as you don’t want it sloppy and the kale mix already has liquid in it. Add the grated cheese or toasted sesame seeds (retaining some for the topping) to the beans, pulse for a few seconds to mix it in and then add to the pan with the kale mixture. Stir well, check the seasoning and add a little pepper/salt if needed.

Place into a suitable oven to table dish and sprinkle with the rest of the cheese or sesame seeds.

 

Takes about 15 minutes in a medium oven, allow to cool a little and serve with crusty bread (links to a blog post),  soda bread or crackers of your choice. Makes a great addition to a meze style meal or just as a light supper/snack.