Baked Kale Chips

When I think of traditionally prepared southern greens, I think of a dense, dark-green, mushy blob of leaves tasting of strong bitterness and maybe a hint of butter. Until someone convinces me otherwise, Whitney and I have to come up with other ways to use the greens from the CSA that it seems have been arbitrarily labeled as food and make them tolerable to eat. Kale is one such green, which in the past Whitney has chopped up and passed off as lettuce in our salads, with mild success (a vinaigrette can mask the bitterness, and the extra chewing gives my jaw a good workout). This particular time I requested we try making kale chips, which were on my mind after there was some nice crispy kale on top of a risotto dish I had recently enjoyed at Piedmont, a downtown Durham restaurant that specializes in local farm-to-table fare.

Whitney followed this recipe from I think they turned out great! This is my new favorite way to eat kale. I look forward to experimenting with more interesting ways to season them. This time Whitney mixed in some garlic-infused olive oil, which added some nice flavor.

Baked Kale Chips

Tear the leaves of one bunch of curly- of flat-leaf kale into 2-inch pieces and toss with a tablespoon (or two, depending on how healthy you're trying to be) of extra-virgin olive oil and a teaspoon of coarse salt. Spread the kale out on a large rimmed baking sheet (use two baking sheets, if necessary -- the kale should have enough room to bake in a single layer).

For dry, crisp chips: Bake at 300 degrees for 30-35 minutes, stirring halfway through.

For toasted chips with browned edges: Bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes, stirring two or three times.

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