I had a chef in culinary school who used to call the food you tasted as you were cooking a “snackypoo.” I dunno, he was French. Maybe it should be “snackypeaux”. Anyway. I was doing a little cooking earlier and made some extra kale chips to blog about today. Kale is like, so all the rage right now! Which is weird, because it’s not new or anything. I’m not sure who is responsible for this kale renaissance (kaleaissance?) but I’m on board. Kale is nutritious and delicious!
Kale has many varieties, but there are two kinds that are widely carried in grocery stores – lacinato/dinosaur/tuscan kale and curly kale. The dino kale is flatter and bumpier leafed, and has more of a blueish greenish color than regular kale. It has a sweeter flavor as well. Curly kale is – you guess it – curly, sort of in the way that curly parsley is curly. It has a slightly bitter flavor, not too unlike collard greens or broccoli rabe, but a bit more delicate. When I wrote about brussels sprouts a couple of weeks ago I mentioned it’s anti-cancer properties; kale is related to brussels sprouts and thus boasts the same anticarcinogenic benefits, as well as plenty of vitamins K & C, calcium, & beta carotene.
Usually kale is steamed or boiled into a stew, or slow cooked like collard greens. It’s a great texture to perk up a brothy soup, if you rough chop it and add it toward the end of cooking. I know people enjoy juicing it as well. I made kale chips, because I love a good chip and when you bake kale, the texture is somewhere between a chip, popcorn, and a cloud. It’s weird but somehow satisfying.
This recipe is one I made while teaching a cooking class a while back and it’s pretty foolproof. You can add different spices to liven up the flavor; here I use sweet paprika but a little curry powder might be fun, or cumin. Up to you!
Baked Kale Chips
1 head of any kind of kale
salt and pepper ( i used fleur de sel for this, as it’s strong and holds up to baking)
Preheat oven to 300 F. Cut the spines out of the kale and then rinse the leaves, dry them well, and toss in a bowl with the olive oil, salt, pepper, and paprika (as much as you think necessary. Not too much, though.) You will most likely need to sheet pans. Cover them with parchment paper, then spread the kale out in 1 layer. Bake for 13 minutes. Flip the trays around. Bake for another 11 minutes. Take out of oven, and voila! You are done.