A few years ago, I became a bit obsessed with kale chips (as did a lot of the world, according to the internet). After making them for some friends one time, we started talking about some of my other cooking and a suggestion was made that I write a cookbook. Well that never happened, but Kyle came up with what we thought was the best title ever (being the dorks that we are): The Book of Kales. However, I knew I couldn’t write a whole cookbook on kale, so I modified it to The Book of Kales and Other Cruciferous Vegetables. It turns out, I love cooked cruciferous vegetables, particularly when cooked in an iron skillet to get some crispiness.
If you’ve never heard the word cruciferous before, you’re probably not alone. I hadn’t heard it until I googled kale, but it has several plants that I wouldn’t have expected to be related. Some include broccoli and cauliflower, brussel sprouts and cabbage (not that surprising), but also horseradish, wasabi, and mustard, turnip, arugula, and radish.
Anyway, my cookbook never happened, but I did write up some recipes, including my kale chips, as well as some opinions on some basic cooking ingredients and techniques, which I can now scatter into my blog entries here if they become relevant.
- 1 bunch kale, or 1 bag chopped kale
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
- Large pinch coarse salt
For Kale Chips, I like to use curly kale, but any type should work, though the time to crisp may vary. Preheat the top broiler in your oven. Wash the kale, and tear the kale leaves off the thick stems. Some people cook and eat the stems as well, and if you want to do that, you can chop them up into about inch long pieces. Then either chop or tear the kale leaves into small pieces, about one inch by one inch. The smaller they are, the easier they can spread out and the crispier they get. Dry the kale with a towel or just spin dry in a salad spinner.
Spread the kale out on a cookie sheet, preferably rimmed, then drizzle olive oil lightly over the leaves, probably about 1-2 tablespoons for one bunch of kale. Then sprinkle a large pinch of coarse salt over the kale (don’t over-salt, you can always add more later if you need it). Take some tongs and stir the kale up to distribute the olive oil and salt.
Put the tray under the broiler for 5 minutes. Then change the oven temperature to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Pull the tray out and stir again with the tongs. Then leave in oven for 10 more minutes. Take out tray. Depending on how thick your layer of kale was, the chips could be done. They will crisp some as they cool, but if you want them crispier, put them back in for 5 more minutes, or until they reach desired crispiness. Let cool for 5 minutes, and enjoy. Kale chips are best eaten immediately; however, they can be stored in an airtight container for a day or two, though they don’t stay very crispy. You may want to reheat in a toaster oven or oven, though not for too long or they will burn. Probably 5 minutes in a 350 degree oven should do it.
Some variations on kale chips that I like are using a flavored olive oil, such as red pepper infused or garlic infused. Or adding some red pepper flakes, garlic powder, smoked paprika, or dried herbs after sprinkling on the salt.