This week the Missoula Community Food Co-op features local kale… that dark, cruciferous vegetable that makes an appearance from fall to spring. Full of nutrients and antioxidants, it helps lower cholesterol and promotes eye-health, among other benefits. Whether these benefits are more pronounced when kale is cooked or eaten raw is up for debate, but in my experience raw kale is tough and benefits from being cooked. I love serving it steamed and tossed with spicy sausage over bowtie pasta. Or maybe sauteed with veggies on top of a pizza. But not everybody enjoys the taste of this super green when steamed or sauteed. Why not try it baked? You have probably heard of this kale chip thing before. They are super simple. Chop kale, spread on baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt. Bake. Voila, chips!
I tried it with two types of kale. The flat stuff and the curly stuff.
The flat stuff (dino kale) baked into almost paper-thin crisps. I’m not sure if I would call them “chips” but whatevs.
The curly stuff I liked more… more body, mostly crispy but a little chewy too. Because it had more texture, I thought it could withstand being tossed with a little cheese. So I did and it was delish.
Only one thing: I overestimated the amount of salt I would need. One teaspoon was much too much so I’ve adjusted the recipe accordingly. What to do if you accidentally over-salt your kale? Well, if it’s as crispy as mine was (if not, just bake it a few more minutes), you can literally grind it into kale dust and use it to season your popcorn, or pasta salad, or anything else you were thinking of putting salt on.
I sent Ian off on a road trip with the curly crisps, fearing these flat ones would quickly turn to dust as they’re so fragile. Tomorrow they will be pulverized into an uber-healthy salted kale seasoning and undoubtedly sprinkled on my lunch. Perhaps tossed with popcorn for a better movie snack. And speaking of movies, if you think of it, you might just swing by the co-op tomorrow afternoon (Tuesday the 22nd) for the community potluck, plant swap and film screening. What better excuse to share good food, meet with friends, and pick up some kale while you’re at it? These chips are a hit at potlucks, by the way…
Crispy Kale Chips
- one bunch of kale, flat or curly
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 Tablespoon fresh grated parmesan or romano, optional