I hate throwing food away. It feels like tossing bank notes into the bin. So I tend to shop every couple days and use everything before topping up. Last week I had bought a ‘super saver’ bag of kale – intending to steam and dress it with olive oil and lemon. Then remembered that the nans didn’t like it. And I was as heading to McGregor for a couple days – the chances were it would go off before I returned. So I decided to make kale crisps.
I’ve read about them and seen packets in the health food shops but never bought them. Seemed an impossibility of taste and execution. Dried spinach, hmmm. But then it works with sea weed, and I love that – so why not?
Every recipe I read emphasized drying the kale … and I want to do the same. If it is damp the whole process won’t work. Also: try for dry heat in your oven, so if you have fan assistance – turn it off. Line your trays with baking paper, the crisps can get stuck on the bottom. Though once it has cooled down – easy enough to remove. And keep the oil realistic – less is more here. Won’t work if it puddles on the paper.
Cooking times are approx – you will know when they are ready. Don’t get disheartened if you open the stove to find limp leaves. Leave them where they are. Give them time. They’ll get there.
Lastly – don’t try swiss chard. I loved my first attempt so much I specially bought a bag of chard to replicate. Thinking the more hardy leaf would make for a crunchier crisp. Nasty and bitter. I binned the lot. If you have no kale – a hardy spinach is a good alternative.
- Preheat an oven to 350F/175C
- Line a non insulated cookie sheet or baking tray with parchment paper.
- Cut or tear the greens into bite size pieces. If there are any really thick stems – get rid of them. I left the veins in the mix.
- Wash, then thoroughly dry kale in a salad spinner. Put the liquid oil into a big dish and spread it around. Then pop the kale in and gently swirl to coat. I think lightly spraying it would work too.
- Sprinkle with seasoning salt (I used Aromat – it was all I had – but would try garlic salt and even parmesan next time. The pre-grated one that comes in those little packets would probably be perfect.)
- Put trays into oven. If you have more than one tray baking at the same time – alternate their rack height during the cooking process.
- Bake until the edges brown but are not burnt, 15 minutes or so
- Remove and let cool.
Serve with Beer. Eat the lot and resolve to make more tomorrow.
(Note: I did take a picture but it came out terribly. It’s been non-stop rain for almost 10 days now and everything is grey. So this pic is from the public domain. But mine looked similar .. hah