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Sunday, September 19, 2010

Kale and Hearty

In the realm of deep-green leafy vegetation, there are hardly any greens I do not love. I steam collards, and top with lemon and butter, salt and pepper, and I'm in heaven.  I make thin shreds of beautiful kale into Portuguese kale soup (caldo verde), and genrally loves me some greens. So, I've been reading a lot of blogs that discuss turning kale into crunchy potato-chip like concoctions.  After reading quite a few of the recipes out there on the inter-galactic web, I set about washing one of the biggest, most beautiful bunches of kale I have ever seen.

And yes, it did fill an entire half of  the sink.  Say what you will about Alaska (because if you don't, you KNOW I will), they have the tastiest kale, carrots and potatoes I have ever had. It must be something in the rich, volcanic soil that makes the cold weather crops up here enjoy some added sweetness and size. After a good wash and dry I removed the tough inner ribs of the leaves, and tore them into reasonable chunks. I spread them on baking sheets, and gave them a good rub-down with extra-virgin olive oil.  I then sprinkled them with nutritional yeast for a cheesy crunch, sea salt, and red wine vinegar. Here they are, ready for their close-up, and a trip into a 300 degree oven for about 40 minutes.

Into the oven they went, and roasted to a crispity crunch in short order. Here they are after the roast..

The verdict? Well, interesting, to be sure. They do turn a rather unappetizing greenish-brown, and the roasting does not completely take away their bitter nature.  In the future, I would add a lot more nutritional yeast, salt and vinegar. I'm glad I saved the rest of the bunch for soup, but as an interesting and healthier option than potato chips, this is not a bad way to go! 

What unusual item do you enjoy? Do you find that people judge you for eating it?

I for one eat my favorite skinless and boneless Portuguese sardines with cocktail sauce and whole wheat crackers alone, preferable in front of the television, and with a nice glass of vintage port. Eat well my friends, and prepare for an all-American steak fest, a California special, tri-tip!

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