Baked Kale Chips

I acknowledge that I may be the last in a very long line of bloggers who have posted about kale chips recently.  They’ve popped up on a number of my favorite sites and every time I’ve seen them I’ve thought to myself “oh right, I still didn’t make those yet.”  I’m not sure what took me so long.  I’ve never had kale in any form so I wasn’t trying to convince myself that baking it in this manner might be the cooking method that converted me to a kale lover.  I suspect my procrastination had more to do with some serious skepticism.  You see, people were saying that these kale chips were crisp and salty and perhaps even a bit reminiscent of potato chips.  I’m not a veggie hater by any stretch of the imagination, but a leafy green veggie being compared to a potato chip – it seemed unlikely in my mind!

Baked Kale Chips

Eventually, I think my curiosity finally outweighed my skepticism and I picked up a bunch of kale while I was out shopping.  It was relatively cheap so even if I didn’t like the chips, I knew I wouldn’t feel guilty about having tried.  Because I’d seen the chips on so many blogs I had to figure out which “recipe” to use.  I say “recipe” because for the most part it’s just a matter of washing the kale, tearing it into chip-sized pieces, tossing with olive oil, baking and sprinkling with salt – really more of a method than a recipe.  I tore my chips into fairly small pieces and they baked in about 13 minutes.   

Baked Kale Chips

My biggest concern about the chips was that they’d be bitter.  I’d heard that kale can have a bitter flavor and I knew that would not appeal to me.  Fortunately, it was not the case here.  The chips really were quite crisp and satisfied my craving for a salty treat.  They’re paper thin and delicate, much more so than potato chips.  I really enjoyed the first few I ate, but I found that I’d had my fill after a couple of handfuls.  I’m glad to have tried them, but I don’t think they’re going to become a frequent treat here.  That said, I am planning to try preparing the rest of my kale in another manner soon.  If anyone has a favorite kale recipe I’d love to hear about it!    

Baked Kale Chips

Baked Kale Chips
from Steamy Kitchen

4 giant handfuls of kale, torn into bite-sized pieces – tough stems removed (about 1/3 pound)
1-2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
kosher salt

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper.

Rinse the kale thoroughly.  Put the leaves in a salad spinner and spin to remove all of the water.  Dump the water from the spinner and repeat one or two more times to ensure the kale is completely dry.  Place the kale on the prepared baking sheet. 

Drizzle the olive oil over the kale leaves and use your hands to toss and coat the leaves with the oil. Bake for about 12-15 minutes, or until the leaves are crisp.  Be sure to check the kale often toward the end of its baking time as you don’t want to let the leaves turn brown, which will make them bitter.  You’ll know the kale is done when the leaves are crisp and fragile.  If they feel soft, give them another minute or two and check again.  Once they’re done baking, remove them from oven and sprinkle with kosher salt before serving.