This Spanish-inspired dish is so pretty with its warm, golden stew-like base and its fresh green sauce. And the flavors complement each other perfectly: the spicy chorizo is offset and cooled just a bit by the fresh kale sauce, made rich and creamy with buttery cashews. The sweet-tart apples temper the heat of the chorizo as well, creating a beautifully balanced fall dish that goes together in a snap. I like to serve it as tapas, but no one would take issue with a big bowl of it!
Fresh Kale and Cashew Sauce (Ingredients):
- 1/2 cup roasted and lightly salted cashews
- 1/2 cup boiling water
- 4 lightly packed cups of fresh kale, torn into pieces
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup unsweetened soymilk (actually, plain, with its slight sweetness, works nicely due to the lemon juice and the “bite” of the fresh kale)
- Juice of 1/2 of a medium lemon (I like to heat the lemon for a few seconds in the microwave and roll in on the counter in order to extract maximum juice)
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons of water
In a small bowl, pour boiling water over cashews and allow to sit for about a half hour; drain. Place all ingredients in the food processor and process until smooth. Transfer mixture to a one-quart saucepan and place over medium heat. Bring to a very gentle simmer and reduce heat to medium-low, add a couple of tablespoons of water, and stir very frequently to prevent sticking. Simmer for about 10 minutes or until the kale no longer tastes raw. Keep warm by covering and placing over a double boiler with the heat sill set at medium-low.
Vegan, Chorizo, Apple and Chickpeas (Ingredients):
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium red onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice (a yellow onion would work fine)
- 3 large cloves garlic, minced
- 2 medium green apples–any sweet-tart variety–cut into 1/2 inch dice
- 1 pound vegan chorizo (I buy Trader Joe’s brand)
- 2-15.5 ounce cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- Optional: sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
In a large skillet over medium-high, heat olive oil to shimmering. Add onion, and saute, stirring frequently, until it begins to soften, about 3 minutes. Add garlic, and saute for about 30 seconds. Crumble in chorizo and heat through, stirring. Add chickpeas, and do the same. Season with salt and pepper if desired and serve warm topped with warm Fresh Kale and Cashew Sauce.
Note: I find Trader Joe’s chorizo to be seasoned nicely and plenty salty, so I tend not to add a lot of other spices when I cook with it. If you use another brand that is not spiced as tasty, feel free to add, say, paprika and maybe turmeric, along with a bit of salt.