Are kale chips so 2009? I used to be in the kale chip vanguard, an evangelist for their crispy crunch and umami allure. I sang their praises, shared the recipe (such as it is) with anyone who’d listen, made batch after batch. But suddenly I keep hearing that kale chips have become as passé as the combination of sun-dried tomatoes and asparagus. It is with great regret that I will have to give them up to keep abreast of current food trends….
Not really. I don’t even really know what the current food trends are. So, friends, two questions. One, what are the current food trends? And two, what do you put on your kale chips?
I have heard of all kinds of fabulous-sounding additions that could take your kale chip experience in many possible directions: sesame seeds, Parmesan, smoked paprika, cayenne, garlic powder, you get the idea. But I usually just go with olive oil and salt. I hesitate to call this a recipe because you can really do anything you want here as long as you dry out some kale in the oven until it’s crisp without burning it. Any kind of kale. I’ve made these chips with lacinato kale (pictured), green and purple curly kale, Red Russian–all great. Wash and dry a bunch of kale and tear it into small or large pieces. Rub with a little olive oil and salt and additional seasonings if desired. Spread leaves in a single layer on two cookie sheets. A relatively foolproof method is to bake the chips at 250 for 30-35 minutes, switching the top and bottom pans halfway through and watching closely near the end of the cooking time. (Thanks, Bon Appetit in 2009!) Remove chips as they crisp and return the rest to the oven to finish cooking.
But IF you can’t wait half an hour for this magic, and IF you’re feeling daring and eagle-eyed, you can roast these chips at a much higher temperature (say, 450). It goes without saying that they will cook, and burn, more quickly at a higher temperature. On the other hand, they’ll be ready more quickly for you to gobble up like they’re going out of style.