Kale is another one of those super-nutritious vegetables that I never know exactly how to prepare. Several years ago I joined a CSA (community supported agriculture) for the summer. Every week we received a random assortment of crops from the farm. For some reason, the farm I joined grew TONS of kale. Maybe kale is just easy to grow in Massachusetts. I'm not sure, but I found myself just sauteing it with garlic Chinese style every week.
About a year ago, while perusing Joy's excellent blog, I came upon her post about kale chips. I was definitely intrigued. Not only would this be a new way of making kale, she said it reminded her of nori (dried seaweed) which I love. Furthermore, she was able to bring it as a snack to a baseball game!
This definitely sounded like something I had to try.
Oven Roasted Kale "Chips"
1 bunch of kale leaves, shredded by hand
vegetable oil to coat (or optionally, vegetable oil spray)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Wash and dry the kale leaves. It's ideal if you can dry the leaves as much as possible, since you will eventually need to desiccate them completely in the oven. I used an OXO Salad Spinner, which works quite nicely. Tear the leaves into "bite size" pieces (the leaves will shrink, so you can be generous with the size of your "bite").
Toss the leaves with vegetable oil to coat. I tried two trays with two different types of oil - olive oil and sesame oil. You can use whatever oil you like.
Alternatively, you can spray the baking tray with oil, lay out the kale leaves in a single sheet, and then spray liberally with more oil.
Salt lightly. This is important. If you are used to stir frying veggies, you might think there's a certain amount that is necessary. Add LESS than that!! These leaves will shrink significantly and most likely you will have added too much salt! I made this mistake!!!! Maybe about a teaspoon max for the entire bunch of kale!
Roast for about 15 minutes, checking at least once during baking to toss/stir the leaves.
Let cool and enjoy!
These were pretty delicious - just a bit too salty, which I think can be easily remedied. The texture was great, and it really is like Japanese nori - fragrant, delicate, and crumbly. It's good at room temperature and lasts for weeks. It's a great way to preserve kale if you are afraid of it going bad soon.
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