Yotam Ottolenghi & Ramael Scully’s Burnt Green Onion Dip With Curly Kale

January 24, 2017
3 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Serves 6 to 8
Author Notes

If most people told you that what your kale was missing was just a few blobs of onion dip, you’d probably nod kindly and then just go back to eating greens in all your usual ways, forgetting that the conversation had ever happened. But this kale isn’t just wilted like any old green—you sauté it quickly, with a lot of toasted garlic and chiles. Then you douse the kale in lemon juice—so the whole mess ends up spicy and loud and quite resilient, a place where swooping your fork through smokey trails of cool cream is welcome, even needed. Adapted slightly from NOPI: The Cookbook (Ten Speed, 2016). —Genius Recipes

What You'll Need
  • For the green onion dip:
  • 1 head garlic
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 5 1/4 ounces green onions (12 to 14), ends trimmed, then sliced in half lengthwise (3 3/4 ounces)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sunflower oil (or other neutral oil)
  • 2/3 cup cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • Coarse sea salt and black pepper
  • For the kale:
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 3 large fresh red chiles, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 1/4 pounds curly kale, washed, tough stems removed, cut widthwise into 1 1/2-inch slices (1 pound)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  1. For the green onion dip:
  2. Heat the oven to 425°F/220°C (390°F/200°C convection).
  3. Slice off the top quarter of the head of garlic with a serrated knife and discard. Place the garlic in the center of a square of foil with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. Wrap up the garlic, place it on a baking sheet, and roast for 30 minutes, until soft. Set aside and, when cool enough to touch, squeeze out the garlic cloves, discard the skin, and, using the flat side of a sharp knife, crush to form a purée. Set aside until ready to use.
  4. Place the green onions in a bowl and brush with the sunflower oil. Sprinkle over 1/4 teaspoon of salt and a good grind of black pepper. Place a small grill pan over high heat and ventilate your kitchen. When the pan is smoking hot, add the green onions and grill for 5 to 6 minutes, turning halfway through, until black and burnt all over. (Alternately, you can broil the scallions or use a gas or charcoal grill.) Set aside to cool, then finely chop. Transfer the onions to a bowl and add the cream cheese, sour cream, the remaining tablespoon of olive oil, the roasted garlic purée, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Mix well and set aside until ready to use.
  1. For the kale:
  2. Put the oil for the kale into a large sauté pan and place over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and chile slices and fry for 4 to 6 minutes, stirring constantly, until crisp and golden brown. (The frying chiles can make you cough, so it's helpful to turn on a fan!) Add the kale, along with 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt and a good grind of black pepper, and cook for 3 minutes—you might need to do this in two or three batches, depending on the size of your pan—stirring often, until the kale is cooked but still retains a bite. Remove from the heat, add the lemon juice, and serve warm on a large platter or individual starter plates, with dollops of the green onion dip spooned on top.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Taylor Stanton
    Taylor Stanton
  • Hmoshman
  • Rosalind Paaswell
    Rosalind Paaswell
  • epicharis
  • Xtinabytes
Genius Recipes

Recipe by: Genius Recipes

15 Reviews

Taylor S. November 23, 2023
We loved this dip! I only roasted 3 large garlic cloves instead of the whole head - I think this was the perfect amount for me after reading other reviewers say the dip was overpowering. We were able to char our scallions in a carbon steel pan on the stove without issue. The kale was a delicious compliment, however the chiles I bought were too spicy (fresno) so I threw them out after frying them off. The aroma they gave to my cooking oil was great though! A wonderful Thanksgiving starter.
Rachel R. June 2, 2021
The kale is absolutely delicious (you can never really go wrong with an Ottolenghi vegetable recipe--he really knows how to season them and prepare them so the vegetable shines) but the dip was honestly too much (though it was also quite tasty) and drowned out all of the lovely, delicate flavors in the kale when served with it. I would absolutely make the kale again but this time without the dip and save the dip recipe for if I needed to make a fancy, French-onion-esque dip for some party.
Regine December 5, 2020
Is it possible to veganize it?
Hmoshman November 28, 2020
I did not have a problem burning the scallions under the broil. I roasted the garlic inside a wrapped up piece of parchment since I don't cook with aluminum, and roasted at 375 since I don't cook olive oil above 375. It turned out really well, and used chili flakes instead of fresh chili. The dish happened to go well with roast beef.
SoInconvenient November 15, 2018
I loved this recipe, but I also live in a rental apartment without strong ventilation. Burning the scallions set off the building's interconnected fire alarm system, which annoyed everyone, particularly those who did not get to enjoy the dip later in the day.
LG November 11, 2018
Can you make the dip in advance? Going to make the kale day-of at a potluck but I wanted to make the dip maybe a day or so beforehand.
Kristen M. November 12, 2018
Yes, definitely!
Lo November 4, 2018
I made this for thanksgiving last year. I didn’t get any comments good or bad on the dish. I personally just felt like I was eating straight cream cheese on some greens which felt a little gross to me. Perhaps I’ll try this again and eat it spread out on a good sourdough baguette.
Rosalind P. October 28, 2018
I live in an apartment and my options for ventilation are very limited. No way can I cook something to a burnt stage or cook something which, because it "might" make me cough. needs caution and ventilation. Like so many of his recipes, this is disappointingly complicated. Not that the result isn't fantastic, judging from the comments already here. But, FOR ME (please note this phrase), it is something better left to a professional kitchen. Or if I ever get access to a kitchen that can accommodate the high temperatures, the burning and the acrid air, I can try it.
Maggie November 13, 2018
I don't find his recipes complicated at all
epicharis February 25, 2018
Nothing with this much cream and alliums could ever be bad, but this was a knockout. And aside from the sauce (which we turned into an all-purpose dipping sauce) the kale was phenomenal. This might be my new favorite way to cook kale. What a fantastic recipe!
Xtinabytes June 7, 2017
I made this on a Sunday and by Tuesday night, made it again. Yum!
Christina T. February 14, 2017
Hey everybody this is the way for kale! -Absolutely delicious! The combo of all the flavors from the warm kale recipe and the cool dip are just wonderful. I forgot to add the lemon juice at the end though! I didn't have red chili pepper,so I used my fresh jalepeno pepper and added some slivered red pepper. I ate this for a meal, and leftovers were so good. Next time, maybe make alongside of roasted chicken?
Lillia January 29, 2017
The leftovers make a really good frittata! (All leftovers make a really good frittata.)
Kristen M. January 29, 2017
Great call! Did you include the dip too, or just the kale?