Lets be honest, I get snacky. Super snacky. And for me, salty > sweet. I had a huge craving for those seaweed snacks but I certainly didn’t want to drive out to get any. The plus side of having a kale plant is that you have a nice supply of fresh free kale on hand. There’s also some fun in taking something healthy and turning it into something I’m pretty sure has little or no nutritional value.
Besides satisfying my snack craving, this recipe is pretty simple.
Sesame Kale Chips (Serves 2, if you’re lucky) Prep time 10-45 minutes | Cook time 10 minutes per batch
Kale: About 6-8 stalks
Sesame oil: 1 tablespoon
Salt: To taste
White pepper (optional, and you could use black pepper): To taste.
Since I grow kale, I’ll give you the truth… it sucks to wash and clean it. There’s dirt in crevices, the occasional spiderwebs, and dealing with the dried out parts you shouldn’t eat. The market has it beat in convenience. As I was dunking mine in a big shallow bowl filled with water, I drowned 3 spiders, 1 of them being poisonous. [Note to self, get gardening gloves.]
Preheat the oven at 350 degrees.
You want to clean the kale, separate the leaves from the stems, break the leaves in about 2 inch pieces, and dry them. You can pat the pieces down, put them in a salad spinner, or do what I did and shake off the excess water and lay them out on paper towels and did something else for about 30 to 45 minutes till they air-dried themselves. I wasn’t in a hurry.
Now that the leaves are dry, place them in a bowl, drizzle the sesame oil, and toss to coat the leaves in oil. I use my hands to toss the leaves and also crush them in my hand as I toss to mix. I feel that massaging the leaves helps break the fibers down and makes it less tough. Up to you. You are baking the heck out of them in the oven, after all.
After the leaves are coated with sesame oil, place on a baking sheet and lay them out. Sprinkle salt and pepper on only one side. The oil helps prevent sticking to the pan, and it also helps the seasoning adhere to the leaves. You really don’t have to bother seasoning both sides. One side is enough.
Bake in the 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes or when the leaves show a little brown. It’ll look a little like this:
I’ve seen recipes where you have to flip them. Not me. One side again is enough.
Place in a bowl or container and do another batch if you have to, otherwise you can commence snaking.