During one of my numerous spare moments today – all my moments were spare – I moseyed outside to inspect the garden. I had heard tell, or Mother had told me, rather, that various plants were springing from the ground. Really, I did not need her to inform me; the growth of the garden is easily visible from our back window, which is yet another reason for me never to stray past the picnic table ten yards from our back door. I’m rambling.
Anyway, while I gamboled in the garden, I spied two leafy plants with purple veins that several weeks and many inches of growth ago Mother had claimed were kale. I doubted her then. This afternoon, though, they did indeed appear somewhat kale-like, albeit with abnormally flat leaves. So, I returned to the house to do what any inquisitive person would do: google it! Of course, Mother was right; red Russian kale is flourishing alongside the prolific weeds in our massive swath of garden space. Knowledge in hand, I marched back outside with some kitchen shears and drastically reduced the size of the two plants. When one has plenty of kale in one’s garden, there is nothing to do but make kale chips!
And, ignore the strange appearance of the kale. It looks like leaves. It is a bunch of leaves. Get over it. Its crispy, sweet orangeyness should help.
When the kale chips are gone, accept the fact that you consumed them all. It was inevitable. What does it matter, anyway? They are just a bunch of leaves.
- 1/2 a bunch of kale (4 cups or so?)
- 2 tablespoons orange zest (the zest of one orange, more or less)
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
Preheat oven to 400°F. Wash, dry, and de-vein the kale. Shred it to the size you would like your chips to be. Toss kale with the other ingredients until all the leaves are evenly coated. Spread out the kale in a single, even layer on two baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake for 4 to 6 minutes, until chips have turned patchy brown and green. Leave your oven light on, and check them constantly. Remove the chips at the edges of the baking sheets as they brown. The ones in the center may take a bit longer to cook. Let them cool for a few minutes before munching away; this allows the sugar to harden and the slightly soft parts of the chips to become crispy. Eat as many as you can before someone else discovers them and you have to share.