Until this week, I am not sure that I had ever eaten Kale. But on my quest for healthy, fun things to feed my family, I kept coming across these very tempting recipes for kale chips. I always told myself I would try making some one day, and with the variety of organic produce on display at the Common Ground Fair, I felt inspired to finally go ahead. I purchased a giant bunch from one of the farm stands there, and when we got home that night I immediately tossed it into a colander on the sink to clean it all up for some experimentation the next day.
First, I read 2 different recipes. One from Martha, and one from a blog I really enjoy called The Ten Ingredient Project. Combining the information from those two recipes, I retrieved my kale from the fridge, tied on my apron, and began.
First, I tore it into pieces a couple inches in size, discarding the stems.
I layed out the pieces onto my two cookie sheets, to give myself an idea of how much I would need.
Then I poured a little extra virgin olive oil into a small dish and put on a rubber glove. (I always keep some of the food-safe, non-powdered gloves on hand for use in the kitchen. They come in handy for avoiding touching raw meat, or for when things get really messy. I also sometimes grab one for cleaning up really nasty messes. I imagine that had I foregone the glove though, I would have ended up with super soft hands after making these.)
I took one kale piece into my fingers at a time, dipping a little into the oil and then working it over the leaf so that it became entirely coated. This gave each leaf a shiny coating, and brought out such a depth and vibrancy to the green.
Next, I sprinkled salt liberally over the kale.
I put the cookie sheets into the 375 degree oven and waited. While baking, the oil made pleasant popping and crackling noises and the baking kale filled my kitchen with a wonderful smell.
After about ten minutes I decided to check on the chips, and I discovered that they were pretty much done. Many had browned slightly, and an attempt at using tongs to flip them revealed just how delicately flaky they were. Some of the pieces on one sheet were a bit less crisp, so I gave them just a couple more minutes. I then took my cookie sheets out of the oven.
I could not wait any longer so I tenderly picked one up for a taste test. Such a fun and pleasing crunch! And so yummy. Right away I wanted another one! I lined a bowl with some brown paper (just a split open paper bag) and filled it with my precious chips.
Simon, Jeramy, and some of our friends loved them too. The only bad thing I could say about them was that they were gone far too quickly. However, I still have some more kale so a second round will be happening soon! Perhaps this time I will experiment with my seasonings. I have a garlic and herb blend that I think will do quite nicely.