“If there’s one thing even a total kitchen dummy can get right, that’s kale chips.”
That’s what one of my roommates said, as she produced a big, dark green-speckled tray from the oven. I never had kale chips before she made that batch for us, and, as everything baked in olive oil and salt is, they were quite the addictive snack.
And, sure as hell, you’d have to be a seriously inattentive character to get these wrong.
There are numerous recipes of kale chips on the Web, and even a recipe for whole-roasted leaves on the Roost Blog, but here is my version. When I found this lovely bunch of small Tuscan kale leaves at the market, that tray of chips came back to mind and I almost automatically purchased it. Most of that bunch was simply cooked and sautéed in a little oil, while the rest turned into these beautiful, crispy strands.
I put together some spiced-up salt to make things more interesting. Play around with the spices and salts you like most, or assemble a few and sprinkle a different one on each leaf. This is probably the secret for the best kale chips ever.
Baked Whole-Leaf Kale Chips with Spiced Salt
A bunch of kale leaves
Good-quality olive oil (extra-virgin would be best)—garlic-flavored olive oil would be gorgeous!
2 tsp coarse salt
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp turmeric
A dash of cinnamon
(Extra) lemon or lime zest, to taste
1. Preheat the oven to 150C˚(300F˚).
2. Wash and pat dry your leaves very well.
3. Prepare a baking tray with some parchment paper, and drizzle some oil on the bottom. Arrange the leaves in a single layer, and top with more oil. Make sure each leaf is evenly coated, but don’t drench everything in oil! You can spread it around with your fingers.
4. Prepare the salt by crushing all of the ingredients with a mortar and pestle, or in a coffee grinder. If you have neither, you can just use kosher salt and mix everything with a teaspoon.
5. Bake for 20 minutes, then turn the tray around and bake for a further 5 to 10 minutes. The leaves should be very crispy and should start turning a light brown color. Sprinkle with salt, and enjoy!
TIP: Don’t eat before a date or on a date itself. Pieces of leaves are very, very likely to stick all over your teeth, and people might be just too nice to let you know.
I still wouldn’t call it diet-friendly food, and I wouldn’t see it as a good way to implement greens in your diet, but it surely makes for a great snack if you’re in the mood for beer and a movie.
Do you have any health-friendly snacks you usually resort to? Enjoy!
Valentina is a 25-year-old Italian ex-graphic designer who, like many designers, got seduced by food photography. She runs Hortus Cuisine, a blog where she shares Italian natural vegetarian recipes from the Italian countryside. She loves green tea, hates cilantro, and considers handmade pasta a form of art. Follow along on Instagram @HortusCuisine.