Food and Drinks

Baked kale chips

I couldn’t eat Kale. I always hesitated to eat greens, even lighter ones like arugula and baby spinach. But as soon as I tried something heavier, my anxiety increased. After finding a garden that I liked — Swiss Chard, or what I call the spinach green –, I started experimenting with it. I made a tart spaghetti and gratin. However, I couldn’t get used to the taste of Kale. It was because I didn’t enjoy the taste. I will not eat anything that doesn’t taste good. I do not care how high in vitamin A, calcium, and C it is or if the food makes me feel better or live longer. It seems that my offspring are less particular . Kale didn’t.

In February, I started seeing recipes for baked kale chips floating around on the web. It’s hard to say where the trend started, but Dan Barber’s recipe appeared in Bon Appetit in February. His version used whole Kale leaves in a pretty pitcher. The rustic version I saw on blogs was to cut up the Kale, toss it with oil, and then bake until crispy.

Yes, crisp. I wouldn’t lie about chips because I love the crackly crunch. Baking kale changes the bitterness I hated about Kale into something light and delicious. The oil and salt add a depth of flavor. This is not a thick, stewy kale braise that will stick to your ribs. It’s a kale dish you would eat because you like it. People, this is revolutionary stuff.

This Week: We’ve flown the coop. We’re splashing around in the Caribbean. Comment responses will be spotty and slow. As I go through my backlog of recipes, new posts will appear as if by magical means. Everyone can have fun!

Baked Kale Chips

One bunch of Kale, about 6 ounces (I used Lacinato Kale, but I’ve heard that curlier Kale works too and may even be better).
Taste sea salt

Preheat oven to 300degF. Remove the tough center ribs and stems from the Kale after rinsing and drying it. Toss the Kale in olive oil and sprinkle salt on top. Lay the leaves in one layer on a large, flat baking sheet. (I used two sheets because my leaves were so small; I lined mine with parchment paper for easier cleanup, but you don’t have to). Bake for 20 minutes or until crispy. Cool the baking sheet by placing it on a cooling rack.

Kale Dust Popcorn I would use less oil – perhaps half – if you plan to grind the chips for popcorn. This will prevent the “powder powder” from clumping. I ground about half of the chips in a mortar-and-pestle (actually, the “pestle was missing, I used the handle from an OXO reamer — not that anyone asked). I sprinkled the powder over popcorn (which I had cooked with 1/4 cup of popcorn kernels in a covered pan with 1 1/2 teaspoons of oil on medium heat and shaking the potholders often). I sprinkled salt on the popcorn. I enjoyed this snack, but I think Parmesan-Dusted Popcorn is even better. Next time!

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