Tale of the Kale Chips (A Riff on Green Eggs and Ham)

Anything green and crispy scares me… a lot.  I would be horrified if “Sam-I- Am” from the Dr. Seuss classic Green Eggs and Ham offered me green eggs and ham or an odd, crispy, green food.

Before this weekend, I could not think of 1 thing that is green, crispy and tastes good.  You see, once upon a time I had an encounter of the “kale chip” kind and ended up vigorously brushing my  teeth, mouthwashing and pretending the whole experience never happened.

After a morning at the Phipps Conservatory in Pittsburgh with my father-in-law and husband, we stopped to pick up a few groceries.  We had gotten lucky and sat in on a class showcasing the Herbs and Spices of Indian Cookery, a subject that I know nothing about.  Maybe it was this experience that made me feel adventurous.

“The Don,” as I refer to my father-in-law, had mentioned the great kale chips he made.  A bit leery, but determined, we found 3 different types of kale waiting for us in the produce section.  We went home with the plain, curly, green leafed variety.  We washed the kale, dried it, drizzled it with olive oil and sea salt and baked it for a little while.  When no one was looking, I snuck a single kale chip, then a second, then a third…  I had a “Say!  I like green eggs and ham!  I do!  I like them, Sam-I-am! “ moment.  Maybe you will, too.

Removing the kale leaves from the stems

Removing the kale leaves from the stems

Kale tossed with olive oil

Kale tossed with olive oil

Notice how much the kale chips shrink during baking

Notice how much the kale chips shrink during baking

Kale Chips

1 bunch kale
extra virgin olive oil
fine sea salt or fine Kosher salt

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Wash kale greens with water.  Dry in a salad spinner and then with paper towels.  (or rinse in a colander, moving greens between your fingers, back and forth under the water).  Pat dry with paper towels.   If there is excess moisture on the outside of the leaves, the greens will steam instead of crisp.  “Strip” the leaves from the stems (see photo above) with your hands or with a knife.

Spread out on 2 rimmed cookie sheets.  Drizzle with olive oil.  Toss with your hands until evenly coated.  Sprinkle with a little salt.  The flavor of the salt will intensify as the “chips” are baked, so don’t overdo it.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, until edges are crispy and just barely brown.

Leave out for snacking.


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