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Recipe for red pepper, kale and walnut dip (or spread) {vegan, gluten-free}

Red pepper, kale and walnut dip, or use it as a spread.

All year long I've been on a campaign to eat more kale. You can tell by my use of the word campaign that kale is a vegetable I'm learning to love, not one I loved from the start. Like most kids I know, I don't always want to eat my dark leafy greens, so from time to time I have to hide vegetables in my own meals. This mildly spicy red pepper, kale and walnut dip -- which you also could use as a spread on sandwiches or bruschetta -- began as a random ingredient pull from the refrigerator. I had some kale that needed to be used, a bit of leftover roasted red pepper in a jar, and a few walnuts. Harissa brought them all together in a Mediterranean-inspired dip, and nobody will ever figure out that kale is the green in it. Serve this at your next party, with celery sticks, carrots, or tortilla chips.


Red pepper, kale and walnut spread, from The Perfect Pantry.

Red pepper, kale and walnut dip (or spread)

From the pantry, you'll need: walnuts, harissa, kosher salt, lemon, roasted red peppers.

Makes 1/2 cup; can be multiplied.


1/3 cup walnut pieces
2 oz chopped kale
4 oz roasted red pepper
1/4 tsp harissa, or more to taste
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice


In a small nonstick (dry) frying pan, toast the walnuts over low heat until fragrant and slightly browned.

Place the walnuts along with the remaining ingredients in a food processor, and pulse until the mixture is a smooth purée.

Store in the refrigerator until ready to use [can be made up to 2 days ahead].

Serve with vegetables, tortilla chips, crackers or pita bread; spread on a sandwich; or, toss with pasta.

[Printer-friendly recipe.]

More recipes in The Perfect Pantry:
Roasted eggplant spread with garlic, pepper and onions
Roasted red pepper and garlic hummus crostini
Slow roasted or sun-dried tomato and basil hummus

Other recipes that use these pantry ingredients:
Kale walnut pesto pasta, from Shutterbean
Kale and chard salad with blue cheese and walnuts, from Pink Bites
Roasted red peppers stuffed with kale and rice, from Taetopia
Lentils, roasted red pepper and kale salad, from Citron & Vanille
Muhammara, from Flavors of the Sun

Disclosure: The Perfect Pantry earns a few pennies on purchases made through the Amazon.com links in this post. Thank you for supporting this site when you start your shopping here.


I need to get on board the kale thing. I just started eating it three years ago. A friend always puts it in her smoothies.

If I bought kale, I could make this, because I have everything else in my pantry.

Mimi, I'm new to kale, also. I haven't tried smoothies yet, but I have eaten it both raw and cooked. It's an acquired taste for me, but I'm working hard at learning to love it.

This is a nice change from the typical dip! Great way to get those healthy greens in.

Kristi, it's a little bit sneaky, but very good.

The secret to kale is the same as the secret to everything else: lots of butter, garlic, and salt! :)

Dip sounds great, I look forward to trying it.

Valerie, isn't everything better with butter and garlic? Still, I think you'll like this dip -- maybe with garlic bread!

It is the first time I write here, but I like very much your blog!

I'm from Catalonia, Spain, and this dip reminds me of 'romesco'. It is primarily used with roasted young onions (calçots). Google 'calçotada' and you'll be amazed :-) Another version of the dip, more saucy, is used for fish. And another one is used to dress 'escarola' (I've found it translated as 'endive escarole') in a typical salad called 'xató'. I hate escarola, but I can eat it with romesco, just like you with kale and this dip you show us here :-)

I have found a good romesco recipe in english here:


It is more difficult than your dip, but you can try!

Carme, so glad to know you're here! I've got a recipe for a more typical romesco sauce here on the blog, and you're right, this one is similar. It's a great way to get some dark greens in!

Lydia, I'm ashamed I have not looked for it! It is a good recipe, indeed!, but as you like strong flavours I suggest you to try romesco with (roasted) hazelnuts. It is less subtle than with almonds, but delicious too! Have a nice weekend!

Interesting dip! Great way to use kale.

yum!! I am with Carme above and can see this with pan-seared scallops! If not already on my toasted bagel!

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