I know that from a foodie standpoint, kale chips are nothing new, not a revelation of any kind. One might even say that they are “so ’08”. When I mentioned them to my friend Christine, she told me that her niece (her niece!) had been making them for years. Ok, so fast forward to 2012 and I finally just got around to making them. So sue me. (Dang, what’s with the sassy tone? Must be suffering from lack of snow days, if I were to venture a guess). Anyways, after a couple of disastrous batches, having misread Gwyneth’s directions and included a whole tablespoon of salt (no further explanation needed) then, failed to monitor (though I was still well within suggested cooking time) second batch of said chips resulting in blackened charcoal sheets of bitterness, in others words, a mess, I’d almost given up. Maybe me and kale chips just were not meant to be. Finally, a spur-of-the-moment third round resulted in, if not the most delicious culinary experiment of 2012, at least a moderately tasty, edible and decidedly healthier version of the much-preferred chip of the potato variety that, at least, is worth knowing about. Like me, you might have just a couple of large leaves leftover from a larger bunch. Here’s what you can do with them.
Adapted from My Father’s Daughter, 2011.
- a couple of kale leaves, torn into bite-sized pieces
- dash of salt (about a 1/4 teaspoon or less)
- dash of nutmeg (less than a 1/4 teaspoon)
- extra-virgin olive oil (about a teaspoon or more depending on how much kale you’re using)
Preheat oven to 350°. (I found Gwyneth’s 400° just too high, even for these not-so-delicate greens–maybe they have heartier kale in England). On a baking sheet coated with aluminum foil (for easy clean-up) spread out the kale pieces, trying not to overcrowd. Drizzle with olive oil, taking care not to drown the chips, just a drizzle. Then add the dashes of salt and nutmeg and mix to coat with your hands. Roast for 8-12 minutes, monitoring closely. As soon as they start to brown, test one for crispness. They go really quickly from perfect to burnt and black so be careful. Once done, serve in a small bowl like potato chips and watch them disappear. In fact, I ate them all immediately, so cannot inform at all as to how well they keep!
Gwyneth claims that Apple and Moses eat them as if they were potato chips. That may be stretching things, but as long as you keep in mind that you are eating kale, this is a fairly tasty preparation, though, in my mind, not even close to a potato chip. I shall not try to convince you that they are as good. They are simply pretty good for what they are.