making kale crisps

January 11, 2010 at 11:52 am 13 comments

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!).
  • Enjoy immediately

Entry filed under: allotment tales, in the kitchen. Tags: , .

winter wonderland recycling food waste

13 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Mrs Green  |  January 11, 2010 at 2:36 pm

    I love this – I’ve made it before and it’s delicious; however I AM a kale fan; in fact it’s one of my favourites. I can just eat it steamed on a plate LOL!

    Glad you rescued the seedlings; I can’t say no to orphan plants either 😉

  • 2. mangocheeks  |  January 11, 2010 at 4:47 pm

    I came across these three years ago and then actually made my very own two years ago, I am a total convert and love them.

    And I know what you mean about cleaning bugs from the kale, curly kale in particular…eeek…it’s not easy…You don’t want to miss them in case you accidentally eat one of them… errrr

  • 3. Norm  |  January 11, 2010 at 6:17 pm

    Oooh, that sounds lush! Kale is not my favourite veg either, but I could definitely eat it like this.

    And eating bugs? Meh, just a bit of extra protein!

  • 4. Choclette  |  January 11, 2010 at 6:29 pm

    Sounds wonderful, will give this a go when I can get down to our allotment to harvest some.

    What we generally do with Kale is just leave it to sprout in the early spring (apart from taking the odd leaf here and there) and then eat the flowers as you would purple sprouting broccoli (taste much the same) – they are deliciously tender and go on sprouting for quite a while.

  • 5. Peggy  |  January 11, 2010 at 7:13 pm

    Happy New year to you and yours. Snow and ice have kept us away from our plot also, there is a hill up to it which is almost impassible at the moment.I have not grown Kale or as far as I am aware ever eaten it!

  • 6. Jacqueline  |  January 11, 2010 at 11:25 pm

    I’m not a huge fan of kale either, but this sound like it is worth a go 🙂

  • 7. Johanna  |  January 12, 2010 at 12:03 am

    I love the cavolo nero style of kale – it is so wonderfully dark and flavoursome and holds its shape in a soup or pasta recipe – but haven’t really come across other varieties of kale

  • 8. michelle  |  January 12, 2010 at 2:27 am

    Sounds like a great way to eat those green veggies!

  • 9. Nip it in the bud  |  January 13, 2010 at 8:15 am

    Mrs G – how you cook it makes all the difference. Who doesn’t have a stomach shuddering memory of overboiled soggy school greens?

    MC – I think it’s likely I’ve had some bug nourishment this week!

    Norm – you’ll not be disappointed

    Choclette – great tip, I’ll make sure I leave one or two to sprout then. I’d love to eat more flowers. Rocket and borage flowers are the extent of it so far

    Peggy – and to you :o) never tried it? Mine is curly kale which is the variety you get in the supermarket here. It would probably work with other leafy greens as long as the leaves aren’t too thick. Now there’s a thought for a bit of experimenting…

    Jaq – the taste is secondary – it’s all about the crunch and frazzle :o)

    Johanna – my neighbour grows cavalo nero and it’s quite a different texture and flavour. I think curly kale works well for this because the leaves are so thin and the texture is unusual

    Michelle – my thoughts exactly. How else would you munch your way through so much roughage? ;o3

  • 10. Norm  |  January 18, 2010 at 9:59 pm

    Just made these – about to blog about them. Wonderful!!! Many thanks for the recipe. 🙂

  • 11. Esther Montgomery  |  September 8, 2010 at 12:17 pm

    I look forward to trying this. I like curly kale a lot and we eat it in mountains with a cheese sauce.

    Esther Montgomery

  • 12. when it actually works…. « Hilary Usfun  |  September 10, 2010 at 10:44 am

    […] found this recipe and I have to admit there was concern chez Usfun.  If they’d known I’d misread the […]

  • 13. nancy  |  August 18, 2011 at 1:28 am

    I sprinkle parmesan cheese on mine before baking.


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