Have you ever eaten kale before? It used to remind me of the stiff green stuff used to line salad bars, but after experimenting with it a bit I've learned that it's actually really delicious, not to mention extremely good for you. Kale has an earthy flavor with a slight bitterness, a little milder than broccoli rabe. It's a nice way to replace your usual sauteed spinach side dish, or can be tossed into pastas.
But sauteeing and blanching is one thing. Kale chips are another. Until going to Jon and Lara's house for dinner, I had never eaten kale chips. While they may sound like bland hippie snack food, they're highly addictive--like crispy, dark green Lay's. I'm serious! Dan looked at the tangle of crispy green leaves skeptically but after one chip, I caught his hand returning to the plate again and again.
Try them for your next dinner party. Better yet, just make a whole bowl for yourself.
This probably isn't the exact recipe Jon and Lara used, but I think it's pretty close. Be sure to add the red pepper flakes like Lara did. They add the perfect amount of heat.
(Serves about 6 people)
12 large Tuscan kale leaves, rinsed, dried, cut lengthwise in half, center ribs and stems removed
1 Tbsp. olive oil
Sea salt and black pepper
Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Toss kale with oil in large bowl. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Arrange leaves in single layer on 2 large baking sheets. Bake until crisp, about 30 minutes for flat leaves and up to 33 minutes for wrinkled leaves. Transfer leaves to rack to cool.Sprinkle with extra salt and red pepper flakes.