Kale is one of those vegetables that most people either love or despise…except when prepared in this manner, one of Green Mountain at Fox Run’s most popular side dishes.
When raw, kale is as beautiful to look at as it is good for you to eat. It grows extremely well in cold climates like our Green Mountains, even after the snow flies, and is chock full of good stuff, like Vitamin A, potassium, and Vitamin C. Typically it is used to add body and a beautiful color to soups, or sauteed simply in a little olive oil and garlic. But some folks just can’t get past the hearty texture of kale when blanched or sauteed, and/or its astringent flavor.
This very things that turn people off to kale are what allows its transformation into a potato chip-like treat. No, I’m not kidding. (I would never, ever joke about potato chips.) Try out this week’s healthy recipe on a kale hater in your life and see if you can make a convert out of them!
First you need to clean and dry a head of kale. Grasp one leaf of kale by the softer leafy part and pull off the woody stem. (Yes, you can cut it off, but it’s quicker to just do it by hand.) Immerse each de-stemmed leaf in a large vessel of cold water. Use your hands to really dunk the kale and move it around to ensure you get all of the un-delicious sand out of it’s beautiful, ribbony leaves. If your kale is a little wilty, leave it in the cold water for several minutes to refresh it a bit.
Dry the kale very well, preferably by using a salad spinner. Put the dried kale in a bowl and mix in a little bit of olive oil and some salt to taste. How much? I dunno. It depends on how big or small your head of kale is. The oil should barely coat the leaves, and the salt should not be the star; a pinch should do it.
Line a baking sheet pan with parchment paper and spread the kale in a single layer on it. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about ten minutes, then, using tongs (or asbestos hands if you’ve got them ;) ), rearrange the kale a bit to ensure even cooking. Return to the oven until the leaves are mostly dry and crispy. Be careful and monitor often, as the kale can go from not quite cooked to burned to a crisp pretty quickly. For the best textural experience, eat these within a couple of hours.
Need another plan for that kale in your fridge? Try throwing some in a gorgeous soup towards the end of its cooking time.
Thanks to Chef Jon Gatewood for permission to use this groovy recipe.
Inspired by Robyn’s post from yesterday to try some delicious, nutritious, yet unfamiliar ingredients? What are some foreign (at least to you) elements with which you would like to experiment, but have no idea how to approach?