Kale crisps are, without doubt, my absolute number 1 way to eat kale. Given how they cook down you can eat quite a lot of its green, leafy goodness this way too. This recipe is inspired by the kale crisps I came across in Pret. Basically I looked at the list of ingredients on the packet and started making my own for much cheaper!
As always, I use compromises which allow me to make them more quickly. One shortcut is that I use baby kale rather than normal (adult?!) kale because it takes a long time to separate all the tough stalks from the leaves of your usual kale which must be done to get good results. Sadly I’ve been known to have kale go to waste on more than one occasion because I never got round to finding a slot of time long enough to do this essential preparation job. Instead of risking this happening again I found I could buy baby kale and completely slash the preparation time and keep it to 5 minutes, tops.
If you wash the kale (is it bad to admit I don’t bother?! Mine’s organic…) it must be thoroughly dried, i.e. use a salad spinner. My 4 bags of baby kale just about fit into my deep roasting dish to which I add, very approximately the following:
- 4 cloves crushed garlic (I love garlic so I don’t hold back!)
- not more than 1/4 cup olive oil (the volume of the kale will reduce significantly after cooking and you don’t want to end up with excessively oily crisps. Likewise with the…)
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- grinding of black pepper
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 2 tbsp dried rosemary
I don’t worry too much at this stage about mixing everything in but just endeavour to spread it all across the top as I add and just get it going in the oven. To simulate the low, slow cooking time which Pret use, which preserves more nutrients, I use my fan oven’s lowest setting of 60°C. 2 bags of baby kale will be crisp and ready to cool and store within a full day’s cooking time. This 4 bag quantity takes longer. So far I’ve opted to turn it down to the defrost setting overnight and I wake up to it crisp and done. In any case I might mix it around a bit to expose soggier kale once during the cooking time and then again at the end to get an even distribution of flavours. Once cooled you get this. Actually a little more than this as I might have nibbled some along the way…