Few vegetables are as available as kale. It is “in season” virtually all year long, and generally inexpensive. Often held up as a “super-food” it is rich in vitamins and nutrients, a powerful anti-oxidant and anti-imflammatory food. It is also frequently maligned.
I suppose course dark leafy greens are not as popular as, say, cucumbers or tomatoes, but this green, when cooked properly can easily become a household favorite.
The recipe is very simple. Here are the 5 simple steps.
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
This temperature setting is not critical. If you’re already cooking something else at 350, that will work, it will just take longer.
2. Chop kale.
First remove the thickest part of the stems and then chop fine enough so that it won’t need to be cut more at the table.
3. Toss in bowl with olive oil.
Again, there is wide tolerance here for variation. If you prefer to use vegetable oil, that’s fine. This is a drizzle about like what you would use if this were salad.
Your call. Simple salt and pepper, cajun spices, garlic salt, you name it. If you like that flavor, you can’t go wrong. I am a huge fan of the commercially available seasoning called Adobo. I also love Lemon Pepper on this. The oil will make the seasoning stick to all the veggies. The amount is “to taste”.
5. Roast on sheet pan for desired time.
I use parchment paper mostly because I don’t want to scrub the pan after. Lay a piece of parchment over the pan and put the kale over that and spread it out evenly. No problem if you don’t have parchment, but the pan will be a little more work to clean.
The amount of time depends on what you want.
8-10 minutes will leave the kale quite green, steamy and wilted. More “kaley” if you will.
12 minutes will begin to roast it to a golden brown on the edges and it will begin to crisp. (see picture below)
15 minutes will turn them to tiny “kale chips”. They will be light and wispy and hard to pick up with a fork. They will also be really good!
Your oven will likely yield a different timing than mine. The first time you make it, check on it at 8, 10, 12, and 15 minutes. The only thing you need to worry about is that once they become uniformly black, they will be too bitter to eat.
So next time you’re at the Farmer’s Market or the Produce Section, grab a bunch of kale. There is red and purple kale, and they all cook the same.
Experiment with the seaoning, with the amount of time, and with how you serve it. This is a great side dish, but would also be–if crispy–a great garnish on a thick soup, or even a snack if you left the pieces larger and cooked them the full amount.