Wish Upon A Dish: Roasted Kale ♥ and the pizza it went on top of

March 1, 2012

Roasted Kale ♥ and the pizza it went on top of

The Nudge calls me impetuous. I like to think of it as adventurous, and for the record, not when it comes to food or fashion.

Hey, I take my food seriously. As for my fashion, well, nowadays I'm happy if I am washed, cleaned and pressed.

Food fads, lately, have hit the the Internet faster then a pop up store.

Years ago with no internet, a new month, a new magazine in the mail, it was a good thing. You made the experience last until the next month, when the new one arrived.
We devoured those magazines, page by page, gently earmarking each recipe. Then the next one was released and the pile of old magazines grows a little more. You'll never make that recipe.

Blogging has taken the place of snail mail magazines. Now it is called bookmarking (as compared to the earmarking of old), I want to know how many bloggers out there have drafts in their editor that will never be published. Dishes you want to make, but never get to cook. By the time you remember it is even in there, the fad is gone, and everyone has moved on to something else.

Such is my history with kale. Was all the rage about a year ago (a year is a long time online). Yes, it is very good for you, since it was discovered that people actually ate it and it's not just a garnish on your dinner plate.

Why have I never tried it before now? Everyone was cooking with kale and all the dietitians and nutritionists have been singing the praises for years now. Comes down to perception, and being impetuous, or not. Just never thought it looked like something I would like. It was crinkly, curly, stiff and dirty and it just did not look appealing to me, plus, there were a lot of other vegetables that looked, tasted and were just as healthy. So there!!

I have been lambasted no more. Today I bought my first bunch of curly kale. Tonight I eat kale, but not in a soup or a braise or a saute.
I am dipping my toes into the bushel of kale with....da ta ta da......chips!

Skeptical right up to opening that oven door, I was sure this wouldn't work. How can simple oil and salt and a low 300° oven transform an ugly, wrinkly, thick green leaf into a miracle food that everyone was gushing over, and I mean BIG gush.

I wasn't happy with just any salt so I changed it up a smidge, using Sicilian Sumac Sea Salt on mine. If you have not ever tried sumac, I recommend ordering a small bottle from Penzy's and while you are there, pick up a bottle Aleppo pepper flakes. Sumac has a bright lemon flavor to it, a burst of bright flavor that is wonderful as a finishing touch to grilled foods or creamy sauces and it was perfect on my Radicchio Scamorza pizza.

I was wrong, I admit it, a skeptic no more. The critics have spoken and they are correct. They are good and tasty, but it's the texture that has me speechless. When you bite down on a chip it just disintegrates in your mouth. It ends up like food powder with a very unique flavor.

I guess you could call them addictive (especially if you want your kids to eat them), but as an afternoon snack? I would much rather eat a bowl of grapes. Good decision on the sumac sea salt and I think cracking them up into flakes and using them like Parmesan is a good thing. I will make these often, especially if I am making something where I would like that crunch. It's like getting a lot of bang for your buck.

I can give you a few pointers: make sure you take the time to cut or tear the leaves into no larger then 2" pieces, keeping them all the same size. If you have a small sheet pan use two or make a double batch. They need to be in a single layer, not touching each other if possible. It only takes 20 minutes each batch so a double is doable.

Make sure you coat the leaves in enough oil and pick a good fruity EVOO, this is not the place to skimp.

Make these yesterday, and make lots.
I hate when I am wrong, and right at the heel of this fad passing I can say I finally jumped right into that water.


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