Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Kale Chips

I tend to lag somewhat behind the trends. I generally don't discover television programs until they've been released on dvd (and I'm not talking about teensy artsy sleeper hits -- I'm talking about shows like The Sopranos). I didn't hear The Clash until I was in college. Which was in the late 90s. I remember pulling a copy of London Calling off the shelf at the college radio station, bringing it proudly to a friend in the booth and asking if he'd heard it. He nodded, waiting for the punch line. "It's really good!" I said. "Yeah," he said slowly, confused at my enthusiasm, "didn't you go to high school?" So it's possible what I'm about to tell you is no revelation. But even so, it doesn't dampen my enthusiasm. Have you tried kale chips? They're really good!

A quick google search on "kale chips" yields a couple hundred thousand results, so it's possible you have heard of them. But if you're a laggard like me, get thee to the produce section and try some. Kale, everyone's favorite superfood, is chopped into bite-sized sections, tossed with a wee bit of oil and a good bit of salt, and roasted in a low oven until crisp. The resulting chips are totally addictive, and best of all don't yield the usual snackfood hangover (in either your conscience or your gut). If you've been wondering how to get your daily dose of leafy greens, or what to serve as a slightly healthy superbowl snack, kale chips might be just what you've been needing. Who knew?

Kale Chips

serves ~2, depending on the size of your kale bunch and the extent of your snacky hunger

I'm normally a fan of kale stems, and pooh-pooh any recommendations for stripping them from the leaves. But in this case, the stems will still be steamy-soft by the time the leaves are crisp, which isn't really so awesome. So in this case, strip the leaves. A fellow blogger recommended eating the raw stems with hummous, and we've also sliced them up and cooked them into a scramble to good effect.

1 bunch kale, any variety
olive oil

Preheat your oven to 300 degrees.

Wash and dry the kale, strip the leaves from the tough center stems, and chop into pieces. Larger chunks are more dramatic, but will also shatter messily when bitten, so I aim for something a little larger than a potato chip (they'll shrink a bit). If you have one of those nifty olive oil spray bottles, mist the leaves, or else drizzle with a wee bit of olive oil and shake in a bag or between two bowls until the oil is evenly distributed and the leaves are just coated. Sprinkle with salt. Spread on a single layer on two baking sheets, and bake until quite crisp (~15-20 minutes). I turn them once during baking, but that might not be necessary.


  1. I love me some kale chips. I find that the ruffled edges on regular kale tend to get overdone before the rest of the leaf is nice and crispy, so now I use lacinto kale if I have it around. Then again, I've been cooking at 350, so roasting at a lower temp might just do the trick.

  2. The low heat definitely allows for a more even crisping. I haven't tried this with lacinato yet, mostly because I'm so taken with how cute the ruffled edges look on green kale!

  3. Yum, thanks so much! I get the munchies all the time while I'm studying but we've cut out pretty much all non-homemade junk food. I made these tonight, I'll think they'll just about do the trick!