The Perfect Storm: Kale Straight-up

This is hardly breaking news, but it’s new to me so I’m sharing my latest kale epiphany.  It is not about a kale smoothie either.

I must be the last person on the planet to try my hand at baking kale into crisps or chips.  There is so much hype about it on the internet that a quick Google search came up with well over four million results.   I have not completely resisted the idea either; I write frequently on kale.  But once it is in the kitchen I usually have a plan for it.  I simply have not collectively had:  1) the time, 2) the kale, and 3) the inclination to make it happen.

Fresh KaleLast night I experienced the perfect storm:  all three conditions were present, and now I understand what all the talk is about.  I discovered that Kale Crisps are so easy to make they hardly require a recipe, and that  something baffling happens to kale in only 20 minutes.

During this process a transformation occurs and the sometimes-tough-kale under goes a complete metamorphosis.  Like a newly minted dollar bill, boring kale becomes  deep green, crisp, and light as a feather.

So irresistible, these crisps nearly melt in your mouth.  You cannot eat just one, and why should you?

Kale Crisps 2

For those who balk at eating their greens, this gives new meaning and hope to the idea of Green Salad.

Your Basic Baked Kale Crisps

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch kale
  • 1 to 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Prepare the kale: clean it well; pat it dry, or use a salad spinner.  Cut away the center ribs, tear or cut the leaves into bite sized portions; they will shrink a bit.
  3. In a large bowl, toss the pieces lightly with olive oil and a dusting of salt.  Spread them out onto 2 large baking sheets.  Sprinkle the tops with sea salt and pepper of choice (red, freshly ground, etc.).
  4. Bake for about 10 minutes and rotate the sheets.  Cook 10 to 15 minutes longer, until crisp and a shiny bright green (not brown).  Cool briefly and serve.
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