Roasted Kale is Kool!

I absolutely love greens like kale, spinach, chard, bok choy, collards, and mustard, but it seems I’m in the minority. Many people can’t stand the slight bitterness of greens, are unfamiliar with the intense “vegetable-ness” of them, have never really had them, or have never eaten them cooked well. This dish is meant to remedy that.

This recipe functions as a great introduction to kale, in particular, which is supposed to be one of those essential “super-foods” so packed with nutrients that it will damn near save your life every time you eat it. Okay, a bit of hyperbole there, but it IS good for you. It’s a great source of fiber, protein, iron, Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin B6, Magnesium, Thiamin, Manganese, and Potassium. So it’s probably a good idea to get some in your diet or the diet of those you love.

This roasted kale is a fantastic way to get people who don’t really like greens to eat their greens!

This method of cooking kale is easy, delicious, and unexpected. Roasting until dry and crisp makes the chewy-when-raw kale leaves papery and fragile, a bit like nori, the dried seaweed sheets used to roll sushi. Seasoned with some salt and pepper, or perhaps some furikake (Japanese seasoning topping) the kale is absolutely delicious and addictive like the best potato chips. Like nutrient-rich potato chips!!

It makes a wonderful snack or a slightly surprising side dish. Make a huge batch of it and take it to a pot-luck event. People will be delighted! I think it’s a fun way to get kids into eating their greens. And it makes a great beer snack too!

Anyway, it’s super-easy. Preheat your oven to 300 degrees F. If you have a convection oven use that feature and lower the heat to 275. Take a bunch of kale (I prefer the flat-leaved Tuscan variety for this.) and strip the leaves from the tough central ribs. Try to keep large pieces. Wash and dry the leaves very well. I recommend a quick rinse and then a whirl in a lettuce spinner to shake off the water. Maybe pat them dry with paper towels as well.

In a big mixing bowl put your kale and drizzle over some extra virgin olive oil, maybe two or three tablespoons. Coat the leaves uniformly and well with olive oil, rubbing each kale leaf with your fingers to cover. Place kale as flat as possible on sheet pans lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle sparingly with salt and pepper. Also, you might try sesame seeds, Old Bay seasoning, garlic powder, furikake, or Greek seasoning.

Roast for about ten minutes. You might want to flip the leaves at this point. Roast another five minutes. Check on kale and if it’s it crispy it’s done. Roast more if not. Cook in five minute increments until totally crisp.

{Oh, and you can do this same trick with collard greens!}

This recipe is for Kathy Wade!

2 thoughts on “Roasted Kale is Kool!

  1. Love, love, love greens. My son actually likes them more then spinach. He says the texture gets stuck in his throat. I mix popcorn with the crisp kale and put it in his lunchbox and it is always gone when he gets home.I do need to put sea salt all over it though.

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