Monday, January 14, 2013

Spicy crispy roasted kale

When living in England, I'd love ordering the crispy seaweed featured on the menu of nearly every Chinese restaurant. It was umami goodness, and fun to eat! The only possible downside was that the probability of ghastly green bits clinging to your smile afterwards hovered at about 43%. 

It was about a year later that I learned crispy seaweed isn't really seaweed at all - it was KALE. And back then, kale was hardly popular. In fact, any kale not consumed through a Chinese restaurant was probably lining a serving platter at a hotel, providing an ornamental buffer between the tray and fruits or cheeses or vol-au-vents. 

Now that we've discovered that a superfood in what was a coy backdrop, it's nice to have a few go-to recipes to give this leafy veg a starring role on the plate. Here's one that is consistently a hit. Make it right before you're ready to enjoy it. 

Spicy Crispy Roasted Kale

  • 1 bunch of your favorite kale
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar 
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt 
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • About a Tbsp of olive oil

To make:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 

Mix spices in small bowl or zipper bag. 

Wash and pat dry kale. Shred into large bite-sized pieces in a large bowl. Add a small amount of olive oil to coat, then add spice mixture and mix well. Add more oil if needed.

Spread out onto a large baking sheet in one layer. 

Roast for 7-9 minutes, mixing it once during roasting to redistribute. Kale should be crunchy and light (since you're baking out the moisture). 

This is a great side for a lobster bake, anything with potatoes, or mac and cheese. 

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