Whew. I am in need of some freaking green foods today.
I spent the weekend away with some of my closest girlfriends, and we packed our schedules full of eating, drinking, and dancing. Lots of cocktails were had, along with even more laughs. It was wonderful.
But, man, does a weekend of fun take its toll on me like never before. I was never hung over or anything but am feeling worn down. There is never enough time in the weekend as is. Throw in some time away or out of my normal routine, and I feel it even more.
So! To get my Monday (and whole week) back on track, I’m sharing this healthified kale dip!
Not a fan of kale? No worries. This isn’t a massaged kale salad situation. This is a cheesy, creamy kale situation. If you really have a strong aversion, use spinach. Or whatever other green you’re feeling. For me, kale works perfectly here. It has just enough texture but doesn’t overwhelm the other flavors we have going on.
Which include garlic, onion, red pepper flakes….and cheese. Not copious amounts of cheese; just enough to make everything sing with flavor. The secret weapon in this dip is definitely the cannellini beans. When pureed, they add the most decadent creamy texture to just about anything. They are what make this dip taste like a full-fat, fully cheesed one.
And not that I am all about being sneaky with healthy foods, but my husband vehemently dislikes beans. Which hurts my heart! In fact, since we first met 10 years ago this month (what?!?), I have eaten almost all my beans when he is not present. When I do want to cook with them, I often have to sneak them in.
I tested this recipe on a day when Dan was at work. When he came home, he saw it sitting on the stovetop and immediately asked what it was. It clearly looked delicious to him. So, I told him it was a cheesy kale dip. I omitted the fact that there was a whole can of beans in the pan as well.
The verdict? He liked it! I did a “wife win” fist pump behind him as he dug in for a second scoop. Don’t worry. I did eventually tell him there were beans in the dip. I just made sure to let enough time pass by to ensure that he wouldn’t care. Hah. And he didn’t! He just sort of shrugged in surprise. “Wow. It sure didn’t taste like it had beans in it.”
So, if you’re like me and in desperate need of some greens, no matter what form they come in, AND have a bean-a-phobic living in your house, this dip may be just what the doctor ordered.
With the unofficial start of swimsuit season being just a week away, it’s a no-brainer snack to make!
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
½ of a red onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups frozen kale
½ cup dry white wine
1 (15-oz) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed well
3 oz cream cheese, softened
⅓ cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for sprinkling over top
⅓ cup panko breadcrumbs
Pita chips and crudité, for serving
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
In a large cast-iron (or other ovenproof) skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 5 minutes, or until the onions are softened.
Add the kale and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the white wine and cook until all the liquid is evaporated, about 3 minutes. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, place the beans, remaining tablespoon of oil, and cream cheese in the bowl of a food processor. Blend until smooth and well mixed. Stir in the parmesan cheese and then add the mixture to the skillet with the other ingredients. Taste and season with more salt and pepper, if needed.
Stir to combine everything and then top with the panko breadcrumbs and another grating of parmesan cheese.
Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until everything is warmed through and gooey. Serve with pita chips and crudité.