Kale Chips

by Food Hound on April 17, 2014

in Appetizers, Sides

Post image for Kale Chips

This was not my intended post for this morning, but when I found myself with a fresh batch of kale chips and a scrap of sunlight left in the sky last night, I realized the time had come.  It was time to go public with my kale chip obsession.

I’m not even using obsession loosely, like a tween who is, like, so obsessed with selfies.  I’m actually obsessed.  Fact: in the world of a food blogger, making something ‘often’ = three times a year.  With an infinite list of new recipes to try, that’s just the way it is.

Fact: I make these kale chips every week.  Obsessed.

Not only do I make them to go with our regular meals, but I also make sure I have a fresh batch when the Booze Hound travels.  If something is going to keep me out of the chocolate stash on those solo nights when I binge watch all my DVR’d Masterpiece Classic shows, it’s kale.

Wait… what?

Am I betraying your trust?  After all, I’m the Food Hound and I’m making public that my dinner includes a large bowl of kale chips over which to linger and watch Downton, Midwife, Bletchley (!! all my faves!!)… not homemade ice cream, salted caramels, or a big, fat bottle of WINE.  I’m trying to sell kale as a crave-able food.  I’m one step away from adding spinach to my smoothie and saying it tastes like pie.

Never!  But let’s discuss this kale business.

I, too, thought kale chips were a health ploy.  Something Prevention magazine came out with in their latest diet to lose 30 pounds in 2 days, all in your belly, while making your skin firmer and your boobs perkier.  Then I had them at a party, started making them on my own, and learned the secret behind these delectable crispy leaves:

Kale chips are merely the vehicle for getting the Holy Trinity of olive oil, salt, and pepper in your mouth all at the same time.  It’s as satisfying as eating that entire loaf of bread dipped in seasoned olive oil at your favorite Italian chain restaurant… but it’s not bread, it’s KALE.  And it’s crispy.

I’m not going all dietitian on you… though 1 cup of kale does contain 684% of your daily value of vitamin K.  (Um, nerd alert!!  But isn’t that a way cool fact??  I think so…)  And don’t think for a nanosecond that I don’t ever cave to the aforementioned ice cream, salted caramels, or wine.  But the Booze Hound travels a lot, and a girl’s gotta fit in her jeans, so while there are totally times I treat myself to something crazy-decadent (uhhhhhh, like a bourbon pecan pie milkshake… but that never happened…) kale chips are most often my crispy, salty, peppery, olive oil-y (mmmmm) solo night nosh of choice.

Kale beats out salted caramels.  Might seem like the world is ending… but if you have yet to try these, it’s only just beginning.

Kale Chips
  • 2 large bunches curly kale
  • ¼-1/3 c olive oil
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Tear kale leaves away from tough stem in large chunks (they shrink in the oven, so keeping them on the larger side helps them stay intact). Wash it very well under running water, then spin dry in a salad spinner. If you don’t have a salad spinner, try to lay leaves flat on some paper towels after you have washed them, then pat dry. You want the leaves as dry as possible. Wet kale = soggy chips = no bueno.
  3. In a large bowl, toss half the kale leaves with half of the olive oil, half the salt, and half the pepper. This is because you probably don’t have a bowl big enough to hold the entire batch of kale, and you need room to toss it. Make sure you toss the kale well- the shape of the leaves makes it hard to evenly distribute the oil, salt, and pepper, but try as best you can to coat all the leaves (tongs works best). Repeat with rest of kale, oil, salt, and pepper.
  4. Spread them in a single layer (some overlapping is ok) on 2 large roasting pan (or if you only have one roasting pan, do this in 2 batches- overcrowding the kale will cause it to steam and not roast, therefore preventing proper crisping) lined with parchment paper for 15 minutes, rotating pans halfway through. Taste a chip, then season to taste with more salt and pepper, if desired.
This is based on Ina Garten’s Crispy Roasted Kale. I never weigh my kale and just buy 2 large bunches. Therefore, adjust olive oil and seasonings as you need to for larger/smaller kale bunches. You don’t want a dry, bland kale chip… but her recipes tend to be way too salty for me (and I love me some salt), so I halved her recommended salt amount (originally a full teaspoon) for 2 large bunches, and I find it is plenty salty. But if your kale bunches are really large, or if you just like more salt, feel free to increase. Same with olive oil- you will see I included a range. Use the amount you need to really coat those kale leaves. Note: this recipe works best with curly kale, not lacinato/Tuscan/dino kale, baby kale, or Red Russian kale.