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It's Easy Eating Green, with Kale Chips

I’ll admit it: kale chips changed my life. Although I do like greens, I don’t eat enough of them. Kale is the harshest of the lot; tougher than chard and spinach, it’s tough to take raw, sucking the moisture out of your mouth if you chew on a leaf straight-up. It’s like, yes – you’re green. You’re good for me. I get it – point taken. Kale is great chopped and wilted into soups, and can withstand a hot skillet or a braise, but beyond that it hasn’t quite earned a regular spot on our market list. Until a few years ago, when a gardener helping us with our container garden tipped us off about kale chips. “They’re as good as potato chips,” she told me. Yeah right. Turns out, they were a revelation.

To make chips, tear kale into bite-sized pieces (make sure it’s dry or it won’t crisp up,) toss about in some canola or olive oil, sprinkle with salt and roast until crispy and golden and they smell like popcorn, taste like nutty chips, shattering in your mouth, with none of the tough chew I generally associate with kale. I love it. Now I buy a bunch every chance I get, and most often it’s turned into a batch of chips I can easily down by myself. They aren’t strong enough to withstand dips, but their ruffled edges make them an appealing-looking bowlful of salty snack. Try them – they’ll change your life too. I now look forward to eating more greens.

Kale Chips

1 bunch kale
canola or olive oil, for cooking
good-quality coarse salt

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Wash kale and dry it in a salad spinner or between tea towels. (Extra moisture will keep them from getting nice and crispy.) Cut or pull out the tough stems, tear the leaves into chip-sized pieces and spread out on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with oil and toss with your hands to coat well; arrange in a single layer and sprinkle with salt.

Roast for about 10 minutes, until crispy and starting to turn brown on the edges, but not too dark. Serve immediately or cool completely and store in an airtight container until ready to serve. Serves 6.

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