Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Crispy kale

Indeed, you CAN make a crispy snack of this much-maligned green. They taste like healthy, green air, and are incredibly easy to make. The CSA kale is, like the spinach, wonderfully robust and deep, deep green.

Turn oven on to 250 degrees.

In the bottom of a large-ish bowl, put about 2 teaspoons olive oil. This is for a medium-sized bunch of kale. Bigger or smaller bunches, adjust amount of olive oil accordingly.

Cut out tough stems of a bunch of kale (kitchen shears work great for this, or you can just rip the leaf away from the stem), and cut leaves in half or so if they're large, and if you feel like it. Wash and thoroughly spin dry (this is important) the kale pieces.

Have some salt in a little dish nearby. This is the second time I've made these chips, and I decided to add some pepper and cayenne to spice things up. For the amount of kale in the picture, my salt, pepper and cayenne in equal amounts TOTALLED about 1/2 teaspoon altogether. You don't need much salt or spice; the leaves are going to lose a LOT of volume.

With your hands, spread the olive oil around the interior of the bowl, then toss the leaves in. Kind of rub the oil onto the surfaces of the bowl to pick up the oil, then massage them around so the oil coats as much of the leaves as possible. Don't stress out over this--you just don't want any globs of oil.

Spread the leaves, preferably without their touching each other too much (although a little touching is okay) on a cookie sheet lined with a Silpat. Honestly, the Silpat is the invention of the century for cooks, so don't mess around with foil and stuff, get a Silpat.

Sprinkle your salt or salt/spice mixture lightly over the leaves.

Bake for about 30 minutes. Check it at about 15 minutes, though. The transformation from leaf to chip can be fairly sudden. When done, all the leaves should be crisp with no moisture left.

That's it! These look cool in a bowl. They'd make great party food except that you get little pieces of green in your teeth.

Update: I made another batch of these and sprinkled mesquite meat rub seasoning on them before crisping. Very yummy.

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