LESLIE BUDEWITZ: My constitutional law professor liked to joke that there are two kinds of people: those who constantly divide the world into two kinds of people, and those who don’t.
Let me suggest another way to divide the world: people who insist on eating the same dishes for a particular holiday, year after year, and those who like to mix things up.
Count Mr. Right and me in that latter group. It may be because we are both cabooses, much younger children in our families, and have never actually been allowed to become the hosts of annual family gatherings! Or for me, it may be memories of less-than-stellar holiday cooking. (My mother was an indifferent cook, but a FABULOUS pie and Christmas cookie baker!) Or perhaps, we just enjoy experimenting with the amazing variety of foods available this time of year, which was not the case in our childhoods. (And as proof of the amazing differences between children in the same family, my husband would make tacos for Thanksgiving, while his sister puts her serving dishes away after each holiday meal with a note in them about what dish they hold!)
So if you enjoy rearranging your menu from time to time, this dish is perfect. Plus it counts as both the salad course and a vegetable dish, leaving more room for mashed potatoes and pie. (Maybe not on the same plate, especially if you’re a gravy fan—another way we could divide the world!)
Patting the chickpeas slightly dry allows them to roast rather than steam. The chickpeas and dressing can be prepared ahead of time, with the kale sauteed and the dish assembled just before serving.
Crunchy Chickpea Kale Caesar2 - 15 ounce cans chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
scant 1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 large bunch kale
olive oil, for sauteeing
1 red bell pepper, julienned
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
additional Parmesan for serving, if desired
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Pat the chickpeas dry and toss them, on a rimmed baking sheet, with the oil, ½ teaspoon salt, and black pepper. Roast for 30 minutes, shaking and turning the baking sheet occasionally to cook evenly. Set aside to cool.
In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, lemon juice, Parmesan, mustard, garlic, and 1/4 teaspoon salt.
Trim the kale, discarding any tough stems, and roughly chop it. Heat oil in a large pan and saute briefly, 2-3 minutes; greens should remain well-colored and tender-crisp. Place in a large flat serving bowl.
Add the bell pepper and jalapeno and stir to mix. Add the dressing and toss to coat. Top with chickpeas and additional Parmesan.
Wishing you all a lovely Thanksgiving – thank you for being part of the Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen community!
Are you a traditionalist, or a daring holiday cook?
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Leslie Budewitz is the author of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries and the Spice Shop Mysteries—and the first author to win Agatha Awards for both fiction and nonfiction. The 2015-16 president of Sisters in Crime, she lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat Ruff, a cover model and avid bird-watcher.
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