Are you like me, kids? Do you sometimes have trouble figuring out what in tarnation to do with yet another one of those ginormous bundles of greens that your CSA unloads on you? If you answered yes, I have two words for you: Make kale chips. Whoops–that’s three words, isn’t it? Math was never my strong suit.
If you answered, “Hahahaha! Yeah, right” (as I know most of you probably did), my message is the same:
Make kale chips.
Seriously. Stop reading right now, put your trusty flip-flops on, go to the store, and buy some kale. Buy two bunches. That’s how confident I am that you will like these chips.
Back so soon, are you? OK. Start by stripping the leaves from the stems, and tearing the leaves into bigger-than-bite size pieces. About the size of, say, your iPhone. They’ll shrink.
Wash your kale by immersing it in a big vessel of water, like a stockpot or bathtub. Lift them out and spin them in a salad spinner or dry them on layers of paper towels.
Next, dash some olive oil into a big bowl. Add kosher salt, pepper, some garlic powder, maybe some red pepper flakes. Keep it simple, snacker. Throw the kale pieces in and toss with your hands. Yes, your hands. Dump the whole mess onto a cookie sheet or jelly roll pan. Put this into an oven that’s 400°-ish.
Now, and here’s the important part: don’t go far. These babies will burn.
After a few minutes, toss with a wooden spoon or heatproof spatula. Repeat. When they seem about half crisp, what I do is turn off the oven and let them continue to dehydrate as the oven cools. It’s OK if a few of them get caramelized; you just don’t want to burn the whole lot.
It’s a fine line between caramelized and burned, you know.
When they are cool, dig in! Kale chips are salty and crunchy, and some greens-hating bairn (in my house, that would be Thing 2) have even been known not only to eat and enjoy them. You can do this with other greens, too, like collards. Or spinach, although I would use the crinkly mature spinach, not the delicate baby spinach–that would melt into nothing, I’m afraid. Plus, we have better uses for baby spinach, like smoothies.
Now, go forth and spread the gospel of the green chips, my children. Hallelujah.