Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Kale Chips!

Kale chips are the easiest non-recipe around. Take kale, heat to chipness. I Googled "kale chips" to see if there was someone I should credit, but I get over 2.5 million hits, so I assume a lot of people do this. I make this for parties, and a giant bowl of chips costs less than a dollar, and it's made of kale. You can't beat it. People ask for the recipe. I point to kale and the oven.

I'm not a huge kale fan, so I started doing this a few years ago and it's awesome. We usually intend to pack it up and keep it, if we make it when we don't have company, but it's hard. You start picking at the tray, and suddenly you've eaten a bunch of kale. If you're a big kale fan, all the better, but you don't have to love kale to love kale chips.

First, preheat the oven to 400.  Then start with some kale.

I thought I'd use the whole bunch, but in reality only used about half by the time I filled my trays, so the rest went to the fridge for another use.  Wash and dry your kale thoroughly.  Kale seems like one of the buggier of the greens.  Wash it hard.

Take off the stems.  This is pretty simple, just run a knife along the stems.  Or, sometimes you can hold them by the end and run your hand down them and take the leaves off (like a giant version of stripping rosemary).  Do this to all the kale you're going to use.  My stems go to the stock bag.

And tear the kale into bite-sized pieces.  This size.

Half a bunch of kale (and a bunch is 67 cents worth at the "regular" grocery store) gave me this many uncooked chips.

Which filled two baking sheets.   I tried it lined with a silicone mat and unlined today, and the results were the same.

Then spritz with olive oil.  I rely on my olive oil spritzer, but if you don't have one, toss them with olive oil in a large bowl or shake them with it in a bag.  You want barely any oil - we're not talking about coating, we're talking about just enough so they don't stick to the pan, and so that the salt and pepper do stick.   That's right, salt and pepper.  To taste.  Forgive my blur.

Then in the oven for 10 minutes or so.  The edges will just start to brown and none of it will feel soft, it will be crispy all over.   If I could add audio of someone biting into a kale chip here, that would convey the texture.  Like if you barely closed your hand over a piece, it might crumble like this:

So the finished chips look like this:

You can let them cool and then seal them tightly in bags for a day or so, but they don't keep crispy for long and besides, they're addictive fresh from the oven.

This works with chard too, and I imagine other veg but haven't tried. 

This recipe is cross-posted at the blog for the South Philly Food Co-op, whose mission is to open a member-owned cooperative grocery store that provides affordable and nutritious food to all residents of South Philadelphia while empowering the local community through sustainable practices, food-centric education, outreach, and community building.

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Kale chips
Super crispy salt and peppery snacks made of greens.
  • 1 bunch kale
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • dash kosher salt
  • dash black pepper
Preheat oven to 400. Wash and dry kale thoroughly. Remove stems and tear kale into bite sized pieces.Place kale in a single layer on a baking sheet (or multiple sheets) and spritz with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. I like to use a good bit of pepper. Cook for 10 minutes or until edges are slightly brown and kale is crispy all over.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 4-8 servings

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