An unseasonably hot spell in early May has me already thinking about doing as much cooking outdoors as I possibly can during the dog days of summer. It’s easy to use your grill as an oven to make all kinds of tasty treats, including nutritious kale chips. A member of the same vegetable family as broccoli and cauliflower, kale is rich in beta carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C and calcium. It’s even a source of natural chemicals which have been proven to have potent cancer-fighting properties and which can lower cholesterol, making kale chips not just delicious but also a heck of a lot healthier than potato chips! Kale comes in lots of pretty colours so if you’re making these for a party, use several different varieties.
4 – 6 leaves curly kale
1 – 2 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon sea salt (smoked salt is ideal, if you have it)
- Preheat your gas barbecue (grill) to about 350F.
- Prepare the kale by cutting out the centre stem with a sharp knife, thereby cutting each leaf half.
- Cut the large kale leaf halves into segments or mini-leaves, about 3 – 4 inches across. Don’t cut them too small as they will shrink when cooking.
- Wash the kale pieces well in cold water. You’ll need to dry the kale extremely thoroughly before grilling it. I put it in a salad spinner first (you could use a colander instead) to get as much of the moisture off as possible, then I put the leaves on a clean tea towel and gently roll up the towel. Leave them in the rolled towel for 2 minutes, then unroll the towel and let them air dry for a few more minutes.
- Put the clean, dry kale pieces in a large bowl. Add a healthy drizzle of olive oil then rub the leaves gently with your fingers so that both sides of each piece are lightly coated.
- Place kale on either a grill tray with small holes in it or on a baking sheet. NOTE: You must make sure the kale pieces are in a single layer in order to have them crisp up properly. You will need to cook it 2 – 3 batches.
- Sprinkle a bit of salt over the kale pieces and then put the grill pan or baking sheet on the grill.
- Cook the chips until crisp; you’ll hear them making some popping and sizzling noises as they cook. Depending on your barbecue (grill), it might take about 8 – 12 minutes for them to crisp up; you’ll need to watch them carefully as they can get overcooked (turning brown or even black) rather quickly. They will cook faster on a grill pan than on a solid baking sheet.
- When you think they are starting to look done, pick up a chip with a pair of tongs and touch it to see if it feels crispy.
- As soon as they are crispy, remove the grill pan or tray from the grill and transfer the kale chips to a cooling rack or plate lined with paper towel.
- Let the chips finish crisping up for two minutes. While they are cooling, put the remaining chips on the grill pan or baking tray, add a bit of salt, and put them on the grill to cook.
- These are best eaten the day they are made but you can store them in an airtight container for a day or two and they’ll stay reasonably crispy.
NOTE: You can easily follow these instructions to make kale chips on a baking tray in the oven.