It’s almost ten years since I’ve lived in a house with a garden. For most of that time I’ve made do with various pots and planters of herbs and lettuce. This is the first Spring that I have had a little patch of dirt to work with.
The backyard isn’t much, it’s only about three metres at it’s widest point. The yard slopes gently upwards from the great french doors to the old dunny in the back corner. There’s only a very narrow strip of garden that catches enough sun to be a decent vegetable patch, and I’m determined to jam it as full as possible with tasty treats. So, what’s in the dirt?
Competing with the snails and slugs are: two pots of flat leaf parsley; a couple of tubs of mixed lettuce; a crop of broccoli that’s coming along well, heirloom tomatoes growing in a vertical garden made out of a shipping pallet; a pumpkin vine just beginning to peek through the mulch; chick peas and garlic sprouting, spinach and the most successful addition – curly kale.
Kale is my new favourite green vegetable. It’s gutsy and more metallic in flavour than spinach. It tastes… green.
It’s perfect in a stir fry, brilliant tossed with butter and garlic, but I’m officially addicted to the background flavour it brings to a tasty spring dip. I love chickpeas blended into hummus with a splash of olive oil and a squeeze of lemon.
This is a great variation and an excuse to ambush an unsuspecting dip recipe with a barrage of green tasty kale-ness.
Spring chickpea dip
1 400g can chickpeas, drained (garbanzo beans)
1/4 cup cooked peas
1 clove garlic
1 chilli (optional)
1 tablespoon tahini (or 1 tablespoon sesame seeds plus 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil)
juice of a lemon
a handful of kale leaves (or spinach, silverbeet or some other leafy green vegetable)
bunch of parsley
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper
1/4 cup water
Place all of the ingredients, except the water in a blender or food processor and process to a smooth paste. You may need to add the water a little at a time if your blender is not bringing the dip together well.
Serve with flat bread, with chopped vegetables or use a dollop on burgers or as a sandwich spread.