Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Savoring the harvest: Crunchy kale

by June

Our family's favorite vegetable is kale. There. I said it. We would marry it if we could.

Winterbor kale fresh from the garden

We batted our eyelashes in delight when it appeared as a baby green crunch in spring salad. We oohed-and-ahhed over it melted into Tuscan bean soups. But we were ready to throw away all caution and elope with it when we discovered how to make crunchy kale.

We have friends who participate in a CSA. They bring home lots of kale. They complain about it. They try to foist their kale off on others (who often foist it right back). So we offered to introduce them to our beloved technique. Just as we suspected, they surprised themselves and swooned (all except for a certain sweet six-year-old who doesn't even, gasp, like chocolate).

Maybe you will swoon too. Kale deserves all the love it can get.

Here's all you do:

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Wash and thoroughly dry some kale leaves. If they're too big, tear them off the stem into, oh, four-by-four sections.

Massage each leaf with a nice quality extra virgin olive oil. Sprinkle them with equally nice sea salt (though not too much because if you're like us, you'll want to put some on again at the end). Pop them into the hot oven. Watch them carefully. In our oven, they are done in about four minutes. In our friends' it was more like nine minutes.

You want them to look see-through green with just a hint of char around the edges. They should crunch like the most ethereal potato chip ever.

the same leaf after crisping in a hot oven

Stay tuned for our continuing series of harvest recipes. We're in full-tilt delight as our vegetables make their way from the garden to the table. Next up, edamame beans.


Wren said...

Hi June! Thanks for posting this. I've just planted kale for the first time. I don't think my dad is a fan, but I can't wait to try it. I was reading in AVM about a multi-colored kale? Tri-colored? rats...can't remember. Now I am going to have to go look it up again. Happy Tuesday to you..!

Anonymous said...

yummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm! how i love kale baked that way!!!

sarah in the woods said...

OooH! I want to try it!

Magnolia Handspun said...

Kale is one our favorites too.
In a deep a frying pan, I take olive oil and minced garlic(lots) onion, shredded/ripped kale and fry for a couple of minutes add salt, pepper lemon juice and little water.

I am trying your recipe can't wait, sound Delish!

Emily said...

We need to give that a try. We've been neglecting our lacinato kale because we were tired of eating it sauteed. I actually snuck some into our enchilada casserole last night :) We also planted winterbor for the fall but haven't tried it yet.

Conny said...

It sounds wonderful. Nutrient-rich yummilicious Kale. Do you need to turn the Kale over mid-bake or is approx. 4 minutes on one side okay?

The Cutting Edge of Ordinary said...

Wow what a great way to prepare Kale! I think I can even get one of my green hatin' boys to try this! Thanks June.

Heather said...

I have never grown Kale but if this is tasty, I might give it a try! Great post, can't wait to see what you do with the rest of your harvest~

Karen Sue said...

I'm not even sure I've ever eaten kale, and I know I've never grown it. Perhaps I'll have to do a little research on this...

Karen Sue said...

how much space does kale take and what does it look like growing?? could you take a picture and post what the plant looks like in your garden?

Sharon said...

I had never even heard of this! I'll give it a whirl! thanks June

Colleen - the AmAzINg Mrs. B said...

I have nver tasted kale..you learn something new every day! Thanks for sharing your experience and a great sounding recipe..

A Friend Across the Miles said...

Shoot! We just pulled the remaining kale out of the garden for the compost. Oh well. Maybe next year...

Anonymous said...

Blimey, can't wait to try this with my curly kale. I usually put it into a pasta sauce with garlic, cream and parmesan (after all, what wouldn't taste good in that sauce?) but will definitely give this a go. Ta!

tara said...

kale, yummy kale! i've had it julienned and fried to a crisp, but never whole like this. i can't wait to try it... thanks for introducing me to this technique!

James said...

Have tried this recipe the last couple of nights and it's definitely a winner with the kids.

Emily said...

We finally tried this tonight for dinner. It was excellent! Thanks

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