Kale is one of those ingredients that doesn’t get a lot of face time, likely due to its equation with super-health-food. Is it dark green? Yep. Widely available at health stores? Yessiree. Does it appear in superfood smoothies? Uh-huh. Well, I’m here to say one thing today: Give kale a chance. In our Austin household (that would be myself, my fiancé, and of course our love-her-like-a-child-but-she’s-a-dog Fin) we’re going through what one can only describe as a somewhat ridiculous health food revolution. Which is great, except for those nagging cravings for things like bacon, chocolate ice cream, and copious amounts of wine. (Ok, I confess: we’ve found a way around all of that by saying if it’s local or has less than five ingredients, it is indeed healthy food. Bring on that local bacon and the pure chocolate ice cream! And red wine is actually good for you. So we’re not exactly suffering.) But I digress. Kale. Kale had never graced our dinner plates, but one day, my mother sent me home a huge bunch from her garden with instructions to add it to soup. Which I did, and it was good, but didn’t knock my socks off. The very next day, I happened across a recipe for kale chips. Anything with the word “chips” in the recipe sends up a loud ping on my recipe radar. Sure enough, it proved quick, easy, healthy, and (the sprinkle of hand-harvested sea salt on top), delicious. So delicious, in fact, that even the self-professed steak-lover/kale-hater in the house gave in and ate a whole batch of kale chips in one sitting. Yep. So next time you’re whipping up burgers (and you sure will be soon if the weather continues its spring-to-summer-like swing), just say no to fried potatoes and try these instead. Kale Chips 1 large bunch of kale (likely still available at the farmer’s market) a good glug or two of olive oil salt to taste Preheat the oven or toaster oven to 350. Rinse the kale and—this is very important—dry it well. If the kale isn’t dry, it won’t get crisp enough in the oven. Tear the kale into two-inch-square pieces (they’ll shrink into bite-size when you bake them). Pour the glugs of olive oil directly onto a baking sheet, and toss the kale on top. Stir it around to make sure it’s coated with oil, and then sprinkle with salt to taste. Pop the sheet in the oven and bake until kale looks crisp, about 10-15 minutes (I’d recommend keeping a close eye on it). Serve immediately. Once you get comfortable with the basic recipe, experiment with different seasonings. I’ve heard reports that even picky kids like kale chips!
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