My friend Carolyn has been telling me about how good kale chips are. I kind of found it hard to believe. Kale? Really?
Kale, if you don’t know, is one of those virtuous leafy greens that often confuse you in the supermarket: Is it chard? Is it kale? Is it collards? What do I do with it? And is it going to smell up my kitchen if I try it?
Really, kale is simplicity itself to use. It’s the bumpy looking one with curly edges and a stem that is not very thick (chard’s stems are more noticeable and quite often red or yellow – as in rainbow chard). Rinse well, cut out the stem and cook it much the way you would spinach, just cook it a bit longer, as it is denser and tougher. I don’t use it raw. It is a cool weather crop, meaning that if you have a patch of dirt, you can grow it even in winter, which is a big plus if you are big into seasonal eating.
Now Carolyn loves good food, so I knew she couldn’t be making it up, however odd kale chips sounded to me. And the more I thought about it, the more I considered the Asian seaweed strips I like so much. Wouldn’t it be similar?
So I got myself a bunch of kale – about 8 oz, give or take — from Sang Lee out in the North Fork and gave it a try.
The results were a revelation! The kale chips were crunchy and had a slight, but pleasant bitterness, tempered by the salt. My parents and John the Painter who happened to be doing some painting with my dad downstairs gave it a try – Leandro was not having it – and we made short work of the whole tray. In fact, my pictures are pretty thin on the actual kale because in my eagerness to try them, I forgot to take any photos until we had almost cleaned them out!
I will be planting kale in the late summer and I will be making this all winter long for my late-night movie snack! Thank you Carolyn!
1 bunch kale (about 8 oz. – can be increased)
1 Tbs oil (I prefer extra virgin olive oil, but you can play around with flavors)
2 pinches salt
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Lay kale pieces on parchment paper, leaving space between all of them – no touching! Drizzle with oil, and sprinkle with salt. Bake for 20-30 minutes, until leaves are crisp. Serve.