kitchen diary: september 14
truth be told, i haven’t been doing too much in the kitchen that is worth noting or keeping track of here lately. i’m unsure why that is. part of it is the end of summer, and things have been busy. while everything at the market is at its peak, and i am certainly enjoying late-summer fruits and veg, any meals that i do prepare are hodge-podge affairs with simply-prepared vegetables as their main ingredient. for most of august, it was way too hot in NYC to do any cooking at all. things are busier at work, and when i am not home until 9pm, i need something very quick for dinner.
as a result, i’ve been eating out a lot, and i realized the other day that i’ve eaten an alarming number of hot dogs recently … and not all of them were at yankee stadium (chalk it up to summer, i guess). so when i do eat at home, i’ve found that i’m drawn to easy meals that are really simple and good for me. however, many of them are not worth noting here.
but i’ve been making one dish in particular lately, and i think it reflects how my home cooking has changed a bit over the past couple of months. it’s a salad of kale and chickpeas and it is really tasty, nutritious, and a cinch to prepare. plus, if i make this for dinner, half of it is saved for lunch the next day.
(of course, the original idea comes from molly and brandon, who showed me just how good chickpea salad could be.)
the deep, nutty flavor combined with a salty, lemony kick is what i really enjoy about this dish. i clean and chop some kale (i like cavolo nero, or tuscan kale, but any kind will work). i sauté it in a pan with some olive oil until it is wilted, tender and charred in places (covering the pan at the start so that it steams a bit). while that is working on the stove, i rinse a can of chickpeas and chuck them into a large bowl. i grate in half of a clove of garlic (or more to taste), a pinch of red pepper flakes, the zest and the juice of 1 lemon, and grated cheese (i like pecorino a lot, but parm or feta could also work here). when my kale is ready, i let it cool for a couple of minutes and then add it to the chickpeas. i toss it all, adding olive oil until glossy and salt and pepper to taste.
the other night, at 9pm, i ate this alongside some toasted bread rubbed with garden tomatoes. simple and absolutely delicious.