Crispy Kale...Perfect as a Snack or Garnish. Have you ever had crispy kale? Well, a while back, I saw Jacques Pepin making some crispy kale. Yes, that's right, crispy, crunchy kale. Who would have thought...The idea was so amazing to me, that I immediately wanted to try it. It was supposed to sort of "mimic" potato chips. Ok, I have to admit that I LOVE chips...but I also know that they aren't exactly the healthiest. Tasty or not, I was willing to try the kale "chips". If it would have the crunchiness/saltiness of a potato chip, I was up for it. I was amazed that you could eat kale and actually like it! What a great little snack. A great alternative to chips. Of course, I don't think you can actually eat a whole bag of these kale chips:)....
This is a great recipe for kids if you want them to eat their veggies. They won't even realize they are eating something that's actually good for them! The kale is so crispy that it practically melts in your mouth...well, almost. I decided to sprinkle some onion powder over the kale chips to bring additional flavor. We really enjoyed them that way. Feel free to experiment with different seasonings and spices.... When I first made these, I added a couple of pinches(or maybe more) of kosher salt. The kale ended up being a bit too salty. The kale as it bakes and crisps up will lose most of its volume and shrink quite a bit. So, add the salt sparingly! You may initially see a WHOLE bunch of raw kale and think to add more salt, but a little salt goes a long way. Plus, if you feel the crispy kale needs more salt, you can always add it at the end. The New York Times also has a recipe for crispy kale that can be found here. It is quite similar, except that the kale gets baked at a much higher temperature. There are other recipes out there, but I decided to try Jacques Pepin's recipe. Not only because I like his recipes, but because he mentions in his show that the higher temperature would turn the kale darker in color. I did not want that....not to mention the fact that I did not want to run the chance of burning my kale. I haven't tried baking the kale at the higher temperature, but I was very pleased with Jacques Pepin's version. The kale retained most of its green color and they really did taste like chips:)! Eat it as a snack... or use it as a garnish for soups, creamy dishes, fish etc. I hope you will try it...at least once...and let me know what you think.
You will need: Adapted from Jacques Pepin's TV Show "More Fast Food My Way".
1 bunch kale
1 TBS olive oil
pinch of kosher salt, or to taste
couple of pinches onion powder*Chile flakes, to taste
* or you can use chili powder,garlic powder, chipotle or even a mixture
Preheat oven to 250 degs.
Wash kale greens and remove the stems.
Add about 1 TBS of oil(you really don't need more). Add a pinch of kosher salt, chile flakes and toss to coat.
Arrange a baking rack on top of a cookie sheet. Spread the kale in an even layer on the baking rack. Try not to overlap the pieces.
Bake at 250 degrees for about 25 minutes. Toss about halfway through....(I really didn't do this). If the kale is still limp, leave it in the oven a bit more until it crisps up. The kale will darken a bit in color and shrink dramatically. Sprinkle more salt if needed. Sprinkle with onion powder, chile flakes or any other seasoning you prefer.