Smoky Ranch Dip with Charred Kale

updated Jun 16, 2021
Smoky Ranch Dip with Charred Kale

The best dip of the summer starts on your grill! Aside from being a great way to get kids their greens, this dip is delicious with crudités.

Makesabout 3 cups

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Credit: Johnny Autry

This recipe is a part of Paula Disbrowe’s summer grilling menu. You can find all the recipes in the package here.

One of my favorite pastimes is teaching gardening classes at my children’s school. Every now and then, I secretly enlist the kiddos to be taste testers. I considered it a major victory that a class of third graders enthusiastically scarfed up this luscious dip (with baby carrots and pita chips), even after I told them it was made with lacinato kale from their garden.

Aside from being a great way to get kids their greens, this dip is delicious with crudités (such as wedges of radicchio, watermelon radishes, celery, and carrots), hard-cooked eggs, and grilled meat kebabs. The kale I buy at my local market is very clean, so I don’t wash it because moisture inhibits the process (if you must wash it, dry the leaves carefully before grilling). The kale won’t char evenly on the grill, and that’s fine — you want a mix of doneness that ranges from blackened and crackly bits to deep green and tender. I use chives here, but feel free to use other “ranch-style” herbs like dill, tarragon, or parsley.

Paula Disbrowe, author of Thank You for Smoking

Credit: Jessica Pages/Kitchn

Smoky Ranch Dip with Charred Kale

The best dip of the summer starts on your grill! Aside from being a great way to get kids their greens, this dip is delicious with crudités.

Makes about 3 cups

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch

    lacinato kale (about 10 ounces/280 g)

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt, plus more as needed

  • 1 cup

    full-fat Greek yogurt (240 g)

  • 1 cup

    mayonnaise (240 g)

  • 1/4 cup

    buttermilk (60 ml), plus more as needed

  • 1/4 cup

    finely chopped chives (10 g)

  • 1 tablespoon

    Creole mustard or other spicy whole-grain mustard

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons

    fish sauce

  • 1 teaspoon

    Worcestershire sauce

  • 1 teaspoon

    white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon

    hot sauce (such as Cholula), plus more as needed

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    garlic powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    onion powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed

Instructions

  1. Prepare a charcoal grill for two-zone cooking and build a medium fire, or heat a gas grill to medium-high.

  2. Carefully wipe the preheated grill grates with a lightly oiled paper towel. Using a grill brush, scrape the grill grates clean, then carefully wipe with a lightly oiled towel again.

  3. Working in batches, place the kale leaves perpendicular to the grates so they won’t fall through and cook over direct heat until lightly charred, 1 to 2 minutes on each side. Transfer the kale to a cutting board to cool slightly. Use a knife to trim the thick ribs from each leaf (discard ribs), then coarsely chop the leaves.

  4. Place the kale and salt in the bowl of a food processor and process into a coarse puree. Add the yogurt, mayonnaise, buttermilk, chives, mustard, fish sauce, Worcestershire, vinegar, hot sauce, garlic powder, onion powder, and pepper and process until the ingredients are combined and mostly smooth (the kale should still have a bit of texture to it). Taste and adjust the seasonings, adding more salt, pepper, or hot sauce as desired. For a thinner consistency, add more buttermilk as needed. Serve immediately or refrigerate in a sealed container for up to 3 days.

Recipe Notes

Reprinted with permission from Thank You for Smoking: Fun and Fearless Recipes Cooked with a Whiff of Wood Fire on Your Grill or Smoker by Paula Disbrowe, copyright © 2019. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House.

Credit: Courtesy of Ten Speed Press

Find the Book: Thank You for Smoking by Paula Disbrowe