Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Garden Win: Kale Chips

Kale...I love kale. I grew up eating a tonne of kale in the winter - chopped kale, potatoes, sausages, all hucked in a pot, boiled, drained, mashed together, smothered with gravy. The Dutch (that's me) call it Boer Kole, and I loves it.

This year, for the first time, I planted me some kale in the garden. It's doing awesomely...like holy-shit-it's-huge awesomely!

Today I decided to try my hand at making some kale chips.

Before you click away from this site, thinking "holy hell, she's nuts," just hear me out.

Think of how red peppers taste. Now think of how ROASTED red peppers taste.

Think of how garlic tastes. Now think of how ROASTED garlic tastes.

Think of how broccoli tastes. Now think of how ROASTED broccoli tastes. (WHAT?? You've never tried roasted broccoli? You're missing out, my friends!)

Anywho, my point here is that roasting stuff TOTALLY changes the flavor of stuff. Roasting kale is no different.

Roasting kale, is in fact, wickedly fantastically awesome.

Here's how you do it:

Kale. Get some. From your garden. The store. Your CSA. Just get it.

Tear it up into small pieces. Think the size of chips. Get rid of the thick stalky stems.

Wash well. Spin in a salad spinner. Make sure it's good and dry. I had about 1 1/3 salad spinner's worth of kale.

Put it in a nice big bowl and add about 2 teaspoons of olive oil, and a whackadoodle of sea salt. I used Epicure's garlic sea salt, which make it all the yummier. Add a drizzle of lemon juice. Massage it all nice with your hands to coat the kale. Mmmm....massage.

Preheat the old oven to 375. Spread your kale out on a parchment lined cookie sheet.

NOW...here's where you can screw it up - don't pack your cookie sheet too full. Less is more here friends. If you pack it full, the stuff underneath won't get roasted and it'll just get all tough and chewy and not at all chip like. So spread sparingly. Do 2 batches if need be. (If you decide to ignore me, and end up with a bunch of mushy stuff, I found that eating the good stuff, and then tossing the mushy bits back into the oven for 2 or 3 minutes worked wonders.)

Got some fresh Parmesan or Asiago cheese? Now's the time to bring it. Sprinkle that fresh cheesy goodness on you kale.
(See that cookie sheet? TOO FULL!)

Now bake. For about 15 minutes.

Warning: this stuff will shrink. Like a....nevermind. But I was shocked at how my full cookie sheet was nearly empty when it came out of the oven. And now? Eat. And eat. And eat. And then make another batch.

Don't ask me how well this stores. I have no idea, I ate the whole damn batch in one go. I had a LOT of trouble leaving a half bowl a quarter bowl a few one chip for Steve to taste. (And he better get home soon...)

I hope you enjoy! Let me know how it goes!


Ginger said...

I have never even had Kale in my entire life...and yet...you make me want to stop at the store on my way home from work this evening and try this...It sounds so good....

Marianne said...

I think I'll be going by the farmers market this afternoon for some (yes, a farmers market on a wednesday, isn't it great!) Thanks Jenn... and ya... you are crazy!

Ms. Julia Hale said...

Another Kale favorite - Kale Pesto. Made just like "real" pesto except you do want to steam the kale briefly before stuffing it in the food processor with oil, lemon, salt and some kind of nut (I often just use peanut butter cause it's cheap). You can freeze it, a great way to get green veggies in the winter, and, unlike 'real' pesto - you can make huge amounts in practically no time. It's REALLY fast because the kale is SO DAME BIG!! Try it.