The young writer expressed incredulity that I had never made kale chips. So, faced with a huge bunch of very curly kale from the CSA, and armed with two recipes, I made kale chips. Why hadn’t I done this before?
My Alaska daughter-in-law described my proclivity (we share it): I’m a savory-preferring, chips and salsa sort of person. Sweets I can almost always resist (with some exceptions), but tortilla chips are my weakness. Chips get you through that premeal dinnertime when hunger depletes energy for cooking. Chips make going out for Mexican food such fun. Nestled in the pack with the sandwiches, chips get you to the top of a mountain.
I try to make rules – don’t open the bag being the most effective – but at Downtown Abbey I’m a goner. I don’t even fight it there. So this recipe is an opportunity for legal chips, approved chips, chips as part of your five-a-day (the potatoes in potato chips don’t make the cut.)
It’s a simple recipe: wash and shake a big bunch of curly kale, remove the midrib, cut into quarter-inch strips, and place in a large bowl.
The young writer’s recipe, from a nutritionist named Kathy Abascal, calls for drizzling two tablespoons of olive oil over the kale and tossing to coat. (Karyn from Red Dog Farm suggests a tablespoon of olive oil and one of soy sauce.)
Make sure the kale is well-coated, then arrange in a single layer on baking sheets. Abascal warns that piling the kale leads to soggy kale – it steams rather than crisps. I made two batches, spread thinly on rimmed sheets.
Place in a heated oven (350°) for five minutes, then turn the kale and bake for six or seven more minutes until the kale is crisp. Keep a close watch – don’t burn – but you want crisp.
Crisp is delicious! Sprinkled with salt these have the melt-in-your mouth satisfaction of a decadent, very good potato chip – but virtuous, no guilt.
They can be a popcorn substitute for television viewing of the debates and election ahead. I hope Michelle makes some chips from the White House garden’s kale. (And I hope she keeps that garden!)
Enjoy – and go ahead – eat the whole bowl – it’s kale!