Hi CSA Members:
Today I’d like to post a guest recipe from one of our CSA Members, Laura McCall. She has perfected the Kale Chip, a fun and easy way to transform your kales into a delicious snack. Here is here recipe. Enjoy!
THE PERFECT KALE CHIP
After playing around with different kale chip recipes for the past few years, I was pretty sure I had my recipe down pat. Then, earlier this summer, one batch of kale chips blew all my previous batches out of the water. The texture was light and crispy as usual, but the flavor was what really startled me. These chips tasted down right buttery though I had added no new ingredients. What was the magic that made the perfect kale chip? Red Wagon Farm’s curly kale!
In addition to being organically farmed on well-nurtured land, Red Wagon’s kale has the huge advantage of being picked the very same day we get to cook it and eat it. We’ve all heard that the nutrition of fruits and vegetables decreases each day they sit on delivery trucks and on store shelves. But did you know that the naturally occurring sweetness decreases too? In the case of kale, that means fresh-picked kale will be sweeter (less bitter) than older kale. It took some head scratching on my part to come to this conclusion but once I landed on it, I knew I now had the secret for the truly PERFECT Kale Chips: farm-fresh kale!
If you haven’t tried kale chips, or have only had the store bought version, I highly recommend making a batch at home. They have this airy texture that is far removed from the crunchy, fibrous, takes-five-minutes-to-chew-one-bite texture of raw kale. It’s so unexpected, I’ve found that even people who dislike raw kale go back for seconds of kale chips. My four-year-old son can’t get enough!
Yield: Makes 2 sheet pans of kale chips
Active prep and cooking time: 30 minutes
Total time: 1 hour and 30 minutes
- 1 bunch Red Wagon Farm Green Curly Kale
- 2 Tablespoons Coconut Oil or Olive Oil
- Fine Sea Salt
- Wash the kale thoroughly and dry in a salad spinner, or pat it dry.
- Cut the woody stem out of each kale leaf. Then cut them into bite-sized pieces, approximately 1.5 x 1.5 inches. Any smaller bits of kale can be set aside for a salad.
- Place the cut kale on two sheet pans covered with tea towels. Leave them on the counter for one hour to dry, tossing them occasionally as you happen to walk by. Yes, this drying time is important! If any water droplets are on the kale when it goes into the oven, your kale will start to steam. Steam = soggy kale chips!
- After one hour of drying, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
- Remove the tea towels and place the kale directly on the sheet pans now. Drop one tablespoon of coconut oil on each sheet pan. Then, massage a bit of the oil onto each piece of kale. If you are in a hurry, you can alternatively just drizzle olive oil onto the kale and give it a quick toss.
- Spread kale pieces on the sheet pans so they are not overlapping but they can be touching. They will shrink as they cook.
- Cook in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes. Look for them to turn a bright green color and then a few will begin to be tinged with a golden brown color where they touch the pan. They will be light, crisp and airy.
- Remove from the oven and immediately sprinkle with fine sea salt. Enjoy right away or store in a container in your pantry (not refrigerator) for up to four days.
- Variations: To add flavor dimension to your next batch, consider olive oil infused with garlic or chili peppers. Spices such as cumin, garlic powder, pepper, lemon zest, etc. are also great flavorings. Your imagination is the limit!
About Laura McCall: She joined the Red Wagon Farm CSA in 2016. You may see her at farm share pickup at Nevei Kodesh on Tuesdays with her two small kids in tow. She will probably be asking questions about the produce, swapping recipes, and generally talking about food with anyone who will listen!