Monday, November 16, 2009

Roasted Kale Chips

Roasted-kale I realize that I’m the last one to the party with these roasted kale chips. Everyone and their food-blogging neighbor has already made them or tried them. But for me, they were a revelation recently, and since then, a mild obsession. [Update: I posted this recipe almost FIVE YEARS ago, and I'm still roasting bunches of kale every week. It has yet to get old.]

First off, the only way I’ve ever been able to warm up to kale was to find it swishing around in a bowl of caldo verde, the Portuguese kale soup flavored with chorizo that I’m hoping is on the menu in heaven. Beyond this, kale was something pleasant to shove under a pork chop or a chicken breast before bringing a plate to the table.

I love, love, LOVE roasting vegetables, and in fact it’s my favorite way to prepare everything from cauliflower to Brussels sprouts. But for some reason, it never occurred to me roast a leafy green vegetable. Ready-for-the-oven
But after hearing so many sing the praises of kale in its roasted state, I couldn’t ignore it anymore. I bought a bunch, trimmed, washed, and dressed it. Still, even as I was laying the leaves out on the baking sheet, I was skeptical. So leathery! So . . . odd. So little faith on my part.

Minutes later, we were in the presence of one of the most truly delectable, utterly addictive things I’ve ever consumed. I’m not hyperbolizing people ~ I’m dead serious. How serious? My kids consumed a pound and a half of kale and begged for more. KALE.

And kale, as you probably know, is one thing we should be eating much more of. Vitamins A, B6, C, and K, potassium, manganese, calcium and iron, folic acid and copper ~ kale has them. Fiber and carotenoids ~ got them. And kale, bless its leafy green heart, has fewer than 40 calories per cooked cup.

I will tell you right now, if you make these kale chips, better make twice as much as you think you’ll need. You’ll eat the first batch directly off the pan.

If you are serving this to kids, you can call it “kale chips.” The word "chips" will help them get past their initial hesitation to put something green in their mouths. Regardless of what you call them, I suggest you keep things quiet until you’ve had your share, then put them in a bowl, call them whatever you want, and watch them disappear.
cutting-out-the-rib

Roasted Kale Chips

  • 1 bunch kale, washed well and spun dry
  • Olive oil (2 to 3 tablespoons)
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar (optional)
  • Kosher salt and coarsely ground black pepper to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with nonstick pan coating.
  2. Use a sharp knife to cut along each side of the central rib; remove ribs. Tear leaves into 2-inch pieces and place in large nonreactive mixing bowl.
  3. In a small bowl, stir together olive oil and vinegar (if using) with a fork. Drizzle over kale leaves; toss to coat evenly. Lay kale leaves in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle liberally with salt and black pepper to taste.
  4. Roast kale for 10 minutes at 350 degrees F in preheated oven. Rotate pan and return to oven. Roast another 10 minutes, or until the kale is crispy and dark green. The leaves will crisp further on standing, so don’t allow them to get too dark in the oven. Let stand one minute on baking sheet, then remove to plate and serve.

Recipe Notes:

  • Be sure to remove the entire rib from each leaf. The rib portion, if left to roast, will become hard and spiky ~ very unpleasant to eat.
  • Do not be tempted to roast the kale at a higher temperature. You'll end up with burned, soggy kale.
  • This technique also works with beet greens, spinach, and collard greens. The texture will be a bit different because the leaf is flat instead of curled, and it may take slightly longer, but it will still be delicious!

11 comments:

  1. I so love these, too bad hubs doesn't feel the same

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  2. nope - you aren't last to the party. that'd be me. this is actually on my bookmarked list of things i need to try asap, but i forgot to buy kale at the grocery store this week. darnit! i'm gonna have to go back if they are as good as you've described!

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  3. Waw,...home made kale crisps! Yum,.. & so healthy too, Sandy!!

    Very original!!!!!

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  4. Nope, I'm the last one to the party and glad I found your recipe!! Enjoyed by whole family and 6 yr old asked if we could have them again tomorrow. :)

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  5. S. Bennett: Wow ~ thanks for your comment! In my book, a recipe is successful if you can get a 6-yr-old to not only eat but enjoy kale!! :)

    Best,
    Sandy

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  6. Thought I was last. Discovered bagged kale chips at organic store. 10 year old daughter wanted to try them?? Very picky eater...I was suspicious but what the heck...she is rarely interested in anythng unusual. She LOVED them and we were actually fighting each other to finish the bag. Cost $6.00 for a mere few ounces. Came across a dehaydrator - new concept for us as well and ordered one that week. Made our first home batch for a few cents and again we ate them off the trays. Now we are beginning to experiment with different kales and flavours - who would have thought...

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  7. Made this for my 11-month-old's first kale today. We ate it all off the pan before I got the rest of dinner cooked. You called it. Thank you. I also posted this on FB, fyi, and it's spreading like wildfire among moms of same-aged kids. Thank you, thank you.

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  8. I agree with everything you wrote! I also have just discovered this manna from heaven! We make Caldo Verde as well and had previously only used Kale for that! I have burned my fingers eating up that first pan and my kids LOVE it! :)

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  9. Started to get kale in our Bountiful Baskets and I had to try something with it. This is an awesome recipe! I used red wine vinegar since I didn't have the rice vinegar on hand. One of my daughters almost devoured the whole bowl! She said it tasted like roasted pumpkin seeds! Thank you!

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  10. I got a bunch of kale in our Bountiful Basket today and I found your recipe. Tried it with red wine vinegar and it was awesome! One of my daughters almost devoured the whole bowl! Thanks for the awesome recipe!

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