When I moved to Charlotte I quickly decided I was going to have to learn how to cook greens, much to my ex-husband’s initial dread. Once I figured out I didn’t need to cook them to a nasty mush, we were both happier. I now have a big soft spot for kale, chard and the wide vanity of greens the Southern US produces.
My favorite, easiest way to eat kale? Kale chips.
After many requests and comments of “mine don’t look/taste like yours” I am going to share my secret with you internets. This is seriously the easiest thing to make, folks. And for extra awesome, we’re adding Parmesan, because it doesn’t upset my lactose intolerance and makes the chips taste extra salty aka yummy.
A few leaves of Kale of choice – I like curly kale personally
Good extra virgin oil (about a tablespoon)
GOOD salt (this is important!) I use Mayan Sea Salt
A block of Parmesan (you can use pregrated, but it will not be as good)
Preheat oven to 375F. Prep a cookie sheet by lining it with parchment paper. (You can use foil. Parchment paper works much better. Use it.)
Take the leaves of kale and tear the leaves into chip/bite size chunks. Do not cheat and cut. This is important. If messes with cell structures in the leaf if you go in there with a knife and you end up with wetter chips then you want. Tear them, I promise. (if you make your own chicken stock, and you should, save the stems from the kale. I keep all of mine in a big storage bag stashed in the freezer.) Fill a colander or salad spinner with torn leaves, then stop. This is all that will fit on a cookie sheet anyway.
Rinse & dry the torn kale leaves. Yes. Do this after you’ve torn the leaves. I have my reasons. Do it.
Once the leaves are all dry, put them in a non-reactive bowl, add a capful (or a tablespoonish) of your good olive oil and toss until all the leaves are lightly coated. You want a really light coat of oil, less is more kids. I promise, so make sure it’s nice and even.
Once that’s done, take a small bit of that good salt, say about two teaspoons, and sprinkle it on and toss again. Remember, our goal is a light, even coating.
After you’ve done that, spread your kale out on your cookie sheet as evenly as possible. There may be some overlap. You can either be anal retentive about it or you can just deal with it a little. I deal.
Now, dig out your microplane and pick up your block of parm. We are doing this at the very last second so that the Parmesan does not absorb moisture. That is why you want to do this fresh. Trust me. It’s WAY better. Grate the parm lightly over the kale chips. It is tempting to do it lots. Don’t.
Pop the chips directly on the center rack of your oven for a bit. I cook mine until they smell right, which is about 8-10 minutes (but my oven is different then yours, so adjust accordingly). They should look slightly browned around the edges and still bright green in the center. They should feel crispy and taste salty, sharp and nomilicious, essentially melting in small salty, kale flavored crunches in your mouth.
Give it a try. Let me know how it works. Ask me any questions, I’m happy to help out.