Kale is not a vegetable on my ‘love and must grow…’ list but I have 5 bushy plants on my plot because I can’t say no to spare seedlings in need of a home. After planting them out in June they’ve been left to fend for themselves, apart from picking off the occasional caterpillar that had strayed over from the cabbages, while I wondered how I’d eventually cook them. Kale crisps are the only way to go now. Not a limp chewy overcooked leaf in sight. Just gorgeous melt in the mouth crispy frazzle.
I made these crisps for the first time in November when the white fly were still holding their ground (pic on the right). If you’ve ever tried washing bugs off kale leaves you’ll know that they’re waterproof and have to be scraped off with your fingers (nice!). You come to accept that a bit of unwanted bug protein is inevitable when cooking kale but if you can’t bear that thought wait until after Christmas. My snow covered kale was entirely fly free. There is a down side to waiting though – frozen kale is not as crunchy and doesn’t keep it’s green colour as well (opening photo is January kale, last photo is November kale)
To make kale crisps (1 serving)
- Pre-heat the oven to 180°C (375°F). Line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper or similar.
- Pick about 5-10 kale leaves (depending on how much you like your greens!). Wash, de-fly and pat dry.
- Cut the leaves from the stalks and tear into large pieces.
- Mix 1 tablespoon of olive oil + 2 teaspoons of you favourite vinegar (I use balsamic) and a sprinkling of salt in a large bowl. Toss the leaves thoroughly in the dressing.
- Spread out leaves evenly on the baking sheet and cook in the oven for about 10 minutes (some people recommend turning half way through but I never remember to do that!).
- update: posted again here using home-made raspberry vinegar with shop bought kale