I know what you’re thinking…
Is she really doing another post about kale chips?
Yes. Yes I am.
After writing about how to make kale chips using long, elegant dinosaur kale leaves, then reviewing an artisanal kale chip product, I thought I’d said about all I had to say on the subject. Not true. I’ve just learned there’s a new kale in town – baby kale!
Some baby vegetables, such as cherry tomatoes, are fully ripe miniature vegetables cultivated for perfection, while others are immature vegetables picked before they’re fully grown. Baby kales are the latter. Their leaves are harvested before they mature to make sure they’re extra tender and sweet. Unlike mature kale, baby kale leaves don’t have thick central stalks to trim away, and if you choose to buy organic, they are free of pesticides, pre-washed, and ready to use. Toss them with olive oil and a little seasoning, and you can have them in the oven in under a minute.
I used a medley of baby kales for this batch, some of which had long stems that were a bit tough. You can pinch them off before baking or leave them on like I did. They make a great handle if you want to dip your chips in a little vinaigrette.
A note about salt: The first time I made kale chips I seasoned them liberally, as if they were potato chips. Big mistake. They were so salty they were almost inedible. As the kale bakes in the oven, it dehydrates, causing the salt to become more concentrated. Now I season them lightly before baking, taste after they come out of the oven, then add more salt if needed.
- 4 cups loosely packed baby kales
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes, more if you like some heat
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- Preheat oven to 275 F
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper
- Pile baby kale leaves in the middle of the baking sheet
- Drizzle with olive oil then sprinkle with crushed red pepper flakes and salt
- Using your hands, toss well to combine
- Spread kale out in a single layer
- Bake 20 - 25 minutes, until leaves are very crisp
- Check the seasoning. Sprinkle with additional salt if desired.
- Store in an air tight container. Do not refrigerate.
I still know what you’re thinking…
Surely that’s the last of the kale chips posts.
Yes. Yes it is, but I can’t promise I don’t have one planned for a baby kale salad.