Friday, 5 September 2014

My new favourite (homemade) snack

I'm definitely a savoury snacker - my taste for sweets has waned throughout my twenties, and aside from a good dark chocolate with almonds I almost always veer towards salty snacks. I love food, fresh ingredients and cooking, so junk food and crisps are not at all appealing to me - it's not a discipline thing, I just really don't enjoy it. You'll usually find me with a giant bowl of homemade salsa or guacamole, one of a few greek/cypriot dips, or a damn good triple cream brie (my heaven). I've recently added to that list these super easy but absolutely delicious crispy kale chips. You can't have just one.


The pièce de résistance is curly kale. I love cavolo nero, but I've never really found a decent use for its curly counterpart until now. This little preparation ritual is super easy and yields a whole container of divinely toasty kale chips - the perfect healthy remedy for a salty tooth.


Ingredients:

1 large bunch of curly kale
extra virgin olive oil
good salt (I use Maldon salt flakes - a decent salt really does make a massive difference to flavour, not just for these, but in all recipes!)


Equipment:

1 baking sheet
1 sheet parchment/grease-proof paper
kitchen scissors
salad spinner
Large prep/mixing bowl
Airtight storage container

  1. Preheat oven to 175C/350F fan-forced. The fan is important because the airflow helps keep the oven dry, ensuring your kale gets properly crispy! 
  2. Remove the middle stems from the kale - I've found using a pair of kitchen scissors to be the easiest way to do this. Tear or cut the leaves into large-ish bite-sized pieces (they'll shrink as they cook).
  3. Wash the kale thoroughly and dry in a salad spinner. It's important to get as much moisture out as possible. 
  4. Add two handfuls of kale to the prep mixing bowl with a splash of olive oil and a pinch of salt (to taste). It may not seem like enough oil at first but if you use your hands to coat the kale you'll find that a little goes a long way.
  5. Spread the kale in a single layer on your lined baking sheet, trying to avoid as much overlap as possible.
  6. Put in the oven, and cook until the edges are brown and the centres are still green. In my oven this takes about 5 minutes, but they can progress very quickly so keep and eye on them! If you need to, set a minute reminder on your phone. If you're not sure you can take them out and feel whether they're totally crispy and continue for another minute if need be.
  7. Let cool on the tray, and repeat steps 4-6 until you've used all the kale. 
  8. Store in an airtight container - I'm not sure how long they'll last because I've never made it past a few days, and I doubt you will either.
I'm really loving these - so much so that big bunch of kale has now become a staple in my weekly shop. If you try it out, let me know in the comments what you think!

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