I'm not exactly sure why it took so long for this veggie to regain popularity. Kind of like the tall girl in the back of the dance class, kale hardly had a second glance for a very long time. In the past 18 months I've heard a great deal of buzz about kale. Not to detract but this modest member of the vegetable kingdom needs more than a second glance almost as much as .....Bacon! (don't hate about the bacon note but seriously can we shift gears for a moment here? Enough foodie talk about bacon...besides what hasn't been written about bacon recently? )
I've always been a proponent of greens in all textures & varieties. At times I am certain my family has been rather skeptical at one more dish of anything of the "green" variety. In the past 2 years it seems like foodies everywhere are singing the praises of kale & chard. In the United Kingdom kale was widely popular during World War II because of the ease which it was grown in Victory gardens & the nutritious benefits the greens added to the wartime rationed diets. kale has 192 percent of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin c as well as minerals like iron, niacin, potassium and phosphorus. Not loaded with nitrates & fat, kale is low in calories & good for us too. Many folks out there are touting the anti-cancer agents found in Kale. When I first heard about Kale Chips I couldn't imagine baking kale & having it keep any flavor. I was impressed by the time I saw Giada de Laurentiis turn kale into a crispy side dish although it might be considered an appetizer. Served with a side of the lemony mayonnaise & I could be in heaven in less time than it takes to toss on the olive oil & throw a serving of kale in the oven. Giada has a genius for knowing her audience & somehow tossing sea salt over the EVOO enhances kale making it perfection. The big taste test came when the kale chips were brought to the table & my husband started raving about them. A real hit for certain. Recently, I've also been rather enamored with Whole Foods selection of Kale Salads. Check here for a modest recreation or twist on my own Kale Salad which is also posted on the lunch box blog here:
Potato & Kale Chips
3 large Kale leaves
Extra Virgin Olive oil, for drizzling
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 1 (8-ounce) medium white potatoes, unpeeled
* 1 (8-ounce) medium sweet potatoes, unpeeled
* 1 cup mayonnaise
* 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1/2 a large lemon)
* 1 teaspoon lemon zest (from 1/2 a large lemon)
* Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Chips: Put an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Remove the thick stem from the kale and discard. Cut the leaves into 2 to 3-inch pieces. Put them in a bowl and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Toss well. Arrange the kale in a single layer on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until crispy and slightly dark on the edges. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Using a mandoline slicer or a sharp knife, slice the white potatoes and the sweet potatoes into 1/8-inch thick slices. Put them in a bowl and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Toss well. Arrange in a single layer (without overlapping) on parchment-lined baking sheets and bake for 12 minutes. Turn the slices over and continue to bake, checking every 2 minutes until brown and crispy, about 6 to 8 minutes longer. Season the chips with salt and pepper, to taste.
Mayonnaise: In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, lemon juice and lemon zest. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Transfer all the chips to a large bowl and serve with the mayonnaise.
Cook's Note 1: Some potato chips will cook faster than others. Remove the chips from the baking sheets as soon as they become brown and crispy.
|Savory Kale Salad|