My beloved picky eater Eric came home from PreK one day and announced that his class had made kale chips with their gardening teacher. That he’d had some. And more importantly –wait for it!– that he’d liked them. I went straight to his teacher to ask if this was true, and she confirmed it! Whuuut?
So after several tries, this is my very own foolproof recipe for crispy roasted kale chips. Eric’s teacher wasn’t kidding. Whenever I make this (true story, I swear), he says, “Kale for dinner tonight! Yeah!”
(Oh yeah, and right as I perfected my recipe, I saw this at Whole Foods.
Really? Don’t you just love it when that happens? “Like this or that? Yeah well that is sooo yesterday’s trend.” Bah, don’t believe ’em.)
Start with one bunch of curly kale*. Odds are pretty good you already have the other two ingredients for this recipe: olive oil and salt. Preheat the oven to 375.
Pull the leaves off the stems, discard the stems, and rinse the leaves well (at least twice, depending on how much dirt you start out with).
Make sure the kale is dried very, very thoroughly. I always use a paper towel after the salad spinner to be extra thorough. Otherwise, if it’s still too moist, it won’t crisp up in the oven. Drying the leaves is probably the most time-consuming part of this recipe.
Arrange the kale leaves on two (half-sheet) sheet pans. Drizzle each sheet pan with a 1 1/2 tablespoon (a tablespoon and half) of olive oil. Toss to coat the leaves in the oil. Then arrange them in a single layer (this is why you’ll need the two sheet pans).
The single layers is another step that ensures that the chips crisp up properly. If the leaves are layered on top of each other, they will only steam, and stay soft.
*My quest for crispy chips is an important reason why I use curly kale and not the more popular (if we believe Food Network) dinosaur or Tuscan or “lacinato” kale. Tuscan kale is too flat. The effect is similar to roasting the kale in multiple layers or without drying it well; it comes out soggy. Curly kale, on the other hand, allows some air underneath the leaves that helps the chips crisp up. Plus Tuscan kale is often more expensive. This one’s a no-brainer.
After the leaves have been tossed in olive oil and arranged in a single layer, sprinkle each sheet pan with about 1/4 (a quarter) teaspoon of kosher salt.
Cook each sheet pan (individually) in preheated 375 oven for 10 minutes. When the kitchen starts to smell like someone in your house has bad gas (about 2 minutes in), that’s how you know the kale is cooking properly.
The kale chips will come out looking wilted, drier, and slightly browned once they’re done. But they’ll burn easily if you’re not careful!
Sprinkle with an additional pinch of salt the moment they come out of the oven (optional). And voilà. Enjoy!
Any leftover chips can be stored in the refrigerator for two or three days. Just take them out of the fridge about two minutes before eating them, and they’ll taste just as crispy as when they were freshly made!
ROASTED KALE CHIPS
- 1 bunch curly kale
- olive oil
- Preheat oven to 375
- Remove kale leaves from stems, discard stems, and rinse leaves well.
- Dry thoroughly in salad spinner followed by a towel.
- Place kale leaves in two separate sheet pans. Drizzle each one with 1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil, toss and arrange the oil-coated leaves in a single layer.
- Sprinkle each sheet pan with 1/4 teaspoon of salt.
- Cook each sheet pan (individually) in preheated 375 degree oven for 10 minutes.
- Sprinkle with an additional pinch of salt while the chips are still hot.
- Ignore obnoxious trend-fixations and enjoy your superfoods!