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Kale Chips

December 2, 2012

I’ll be frank. Kale is a veggie that never really interested me. It just seemed too tough. Too fibrous. Too much work to chew. The few times I tried it, I hid my true feelings. A bit bitter for me… didn’t really want to voice my opinions while everyone was oohing and ahhing over it.

Besides, I still remember admiring pretty purple flower-shaped plants that happened to be called… you know it… ornamental kale. Well guess what?! Ornamental kale is edible! And if you treat it right, it will return the favor.

raw purple kale

Ornamental and Edible too!

Ornamental and Edible too!

Prepared well, not only is it not bitter, it’s delicious! The flavor is amazing – deep, complex and earthy. Plus it’s loaded, yes I said loaded, with vitamins, minerals, and cancer-resistant properties.

It comes in different varieties and types –  Curly and Black  – Dinausar kale or Lacinato or Tuscan kale …

Black kale - milder than purple kale

Black kale – milder than purple kale

Kale is considered by nutritionists to be one of the healthiest veggies on THE PLANET. Now that’s what I call a bold statement. Check it out for yourself in this article, The Truth about Kale, published by WebMD.

Use it in salads, soups, stews.

Chopped kale in turkey vegetable soup

Chopped kale in turkey vegetable soup

Steam it. Saute it, roast it. I roast kale with a little splash of olive oil and sea salt. That’s it.

roasting kale

When roasted, they get crispy like potato chips. Also, like potato chips, you can’t eat just one. Novio, who initially claimed ZERO interest in kale, ate one kale chip and exclaimed, “These are senSAtional!” And if that ain’t a rec, I don’t know what is. Set out a bowl of these babies with wine before dinner and your friends will be very happy. And you won’t have any left.

Black kale before and after roasting.

roasted black kale

Treat it as you would any dark green leafy vegetable. But know that when eaten raw it’s best chopped. Some people massage it with their hands to soften the fibers and generally relax it. You know. You get relaxed with a little massage too.

Kale’s got spunk. All the other leafy green vegetables quiver at the first sign of frost. Not our buddy kale. Kale thrives on frost! Its season is late fall to winter. Thank you, nature, for giving us kale.

I’ll be working with kale over the next several weeks. Look for the posts in between all manner of holiday baking adventures.

So get over yourself. Buy some  kale!

Ready for snacking

Ready for snacking

KALE CHIPS

Ingredients:

1 bunch kale (any variety)
1 T. olive oil
1/4-1/2 t. sea salt

Directions:

Preheat oven to 300°

Remove spine of each leaf by cutting up each side of the stem . Tear into bite-size pieces. Rinse and thoroughly dry .

Lay kale pieces on a large baking sheet. Toss with just enough olive oil to moisten. Sprinkle with salt. Spread pieces out in a single layer. They’ll shrink A LOT but don’t crowd the leaves – get an extra pan out if you need to.

Roast for about 18-20 minutes or to desired crispness. Don’t leave the kitchen after 10 minutes – they can quickly go from perfect crispness to overly done (translate: burnt). Place on rack to cool.

This a terrific nibble before dinner or as a snack. I’ve made several batches and they fly off the kitchen counter. If you should have any left, place in bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

NOTE: Some people roast kale at 400° for 10-12 minutes.

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2 Comments
  1. Fgstrauss permalink

    Judy: Great post … will definitely give it a try! They sure were a treat when we had them at your house a few weeks back. You didn’t mention in your post the issue of being embarrassed at the checkout counter when purchasing kale … that’s an issue too, you know … best, Frank

  2. Laura permalink

    Juju,
    Can I use kosher salt instead of sea salt? If not, why? Wattsamatta you?
    Yaw bestest friend from new yawk

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