Yesterday I was picking up my winter share when I overheard a couple questioning if it was "realistic" for them to take the 2 pounds of kale. If I was the shy quiet type I would have quietly bagged up my share while I ruminated on people with the will power to leave some of the vegetables offered purely because they know they will never eat it. Instead I told them how to make kale chips. After I was done talking they reached for a bag and began weighing out their kale, maybe it was the fact my children love kale chips that sold them. When they were having the same conversation about the Brussels sprouts I suggested that they roast them . As they added those to their bags they both commented that I should have a blog.
My kids don't just eat kale chips, they cheer when I make them. It is one of my very favorite forms of kitchen brainwashing. Yesterday as I was making dinner the kale chips were done first and they began making trips into the kitchen to steal some. At one point Lewis told them no more kale chips until dinner, at which point I wrestled him to the ground to silence his lunatic ravings. Actually I believe the laser beam that shot out of my forehead was enough of a deterrent.
I brought these to a potluck "tea party" at Julian's preschool and anybody who tried them liked them. It can be a challenge to get adults to try new foods as well as preschoolers. I got a real kick out of the adults who would politely and very cautiously take one chip when I offered them. As soon as they tasted them they would ask if they could have more. One of Julian's classmates took a huge plateful and systematically ate the crispiest ones first.
I'm not sure where I first heard about kale chips. I know I saw it on my friend Cheryl's blog but I also heard about it from several friends, there where mentions of them on facebook as well. The first time I made them Sebastian looked at what I was making and said, "Are you making kale chips? I love kale chips." He loves kale chips and I love other people introducing my children to healthy foods. Thank you Alice!
I have taken a little while to post about them because I have been monkeying with the technique and the dressing. In the beginning I was just putting olive oil on them and a sprinkling of kosher salt. They were good, but often times they were either over or under salted. Then there was the issue of temperature and timing. over the last several months there have been many over browned kale chips from my kitchen. I solved the salting issue by adding soy sauce to the dressing and we also like them better with vinegar. The temperature and timing is what works best in my oven. Use this recipe as a guideline as your oven temperatures may be calibrated differently.
1/2 lb kale (you can use any variety, most often I have used curly kale but lacinato or dinosaur kale also works well)
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp sherry vinegar (sherry is my favorite one in this recipe, any vinegar will work, play around until you find your favorite)
Preheat the oven to 275° with convection or 325° without convection. Remove the kale from the stems and tear into chip sized pieces. Wash and spin the kale dry and dump out onto a half sheet pan. Whisk the olive oil, soy sauce and vinegar together until emulsified (thats a fancy word for combining together liquids that normally don't). Pour the dressing on the kale and rub it onto all the pieces so they are well coated.
Divide the kale between two half sheet pans and spread out well on each sheet. Place in the oven and cook for 12 - 15 minutes. If your oven does not have convection take the kale out half way through and stir it around to ensure even cooking. The kale is done when it is really crispy. Pour into a bowl and serve, or leave the bowl in the kitchen at child height while you prepare dinner and allow shameless pilfering.