Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Killer Kale

Tonight was the first time I have ever tried a recipe with kale. I decided to try a recipe my friend and previous hair dresser Sarah Seibert shared with me. Thanks Sarah!!

First of all, I was amazed at how simple the recipe was. All you need is kale, olive oil, and Kosher or sea salt. I used sea salt because, admittedly, I'm a bargain shopper and it was about five dollars cheaper than Kosher salt. I may have to splurge one day on the Kosher salt. If you have tried Kosher and would like to share with me the difference, or help me understand why to use it, I would love your feedback.

Back to the kale! When I got the kale, I was less than impressed with it's appearance. It reminded me of the garnish used to fill in the space on a salad bar. (I am all too familiar with salad bar garnishes, as I was once the salad bar girl at Cork and Cleaver Restaurant in Kalamazoo, Michigan. True, sad, story!) The bottom line is that kale is not pretty and after it goes in the oven, it looks even worse.

Despite my skepticism in the way it looked, I was eager to try this recipe because I have heard how good kale is for you and I wanted to give it a chance. Wikipedia shared with me that kale, "is considered to be a highly nutritious vegetable with powerful antioxidant properties and is anti-inflammatory. Kale is very high in beta carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C, lutein, zeaxanthin (this apparently lowers the risk of cataracts)." In addition, Sarah shared that her kids love kale and I've read on some websites that some kids even think it tastes like potato chips. I was can something that looks so healthy (and decorative) taste like junk food?? I had to give the recipe a whirl!

Here's it is:

Preheat the oven at 350 and place a wire rack or baking sheet on the lower shelf of the oven.
Toss 6 cups of fresh kale (torn into bite size pieces with stems taken off) with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 teaspoon of sea salt. Lay the kale out on the baking sheet or rack in a single layer. Bake for 10 minutes. Toss or turn the kale over and bake for 8 more minutes. The kale should be crispy to the touch, not wilted or soft.

What I found interesting was that the kale was supposed to brown and essentially look burnt and ugly. But the taste....oooooh the taste!! The kids were right! It does taste very similar to potato chips - very delicate and flaky veggie chips!! Another person described it as salty kale "air" and I think that is very appropriate too - it's light, salty, airy, and cabbage-y tasting, which makes sense, because kale is related to cabbage.My verdict is in on kale, it's killer! I kept going back to eat some more. It's so light that it melts in your mouth, but is crispy and crunchy at the same time. Yummy!! This is not something I'd serve to people who are not vegetable lovers or adventurous eaters, but I really liked it and think this recipe is a keeper. Thanks, Sarah!!

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