All I want for Christmas: Kale Chips

Ok, these Kale Chips are unbelievably awesome.  They’re a recipe from Meghan Telpner, and if you can don’t believe that something delicious can be good for you, this is totally the recipe to convert you.  We had these as a side dish/appetizer with the Thai Red Curry Quinoa the other night, and it was divine.

I make Meghan’s recipe all the time, but thought I’d branch out and try something new with it.  I find the lemon juice gives the kale the perfect flavour, but because of the extra moisture it takes quite a bit longer for them to crisp up fully in my oven.  So I raised the heat a smidge, and thought I’d try sumac instead of lemon juice.  And you know what, it absolutely worked!

Sumac is my current favourite spice: apart from being gorgeously bright red, it adds a distinctive lemony taste to Middle Eastern foods like fattoush (my favourite salad), or to garnish hummus.  I’ve used it very successfully in Arabic pastries, where you don’t want them to go soggy from extra moisture, and they add the lemon flavour perfectly!

Kale Chips
adapted from Meghan Telpner’s Crispy Crunchy Kale Chips

  • 1 bunch of kale, washed and patted as dry as you can get it
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. sumac
  • 1 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 225 F.

To prepare kale, tear the leaf away from the stem, then tear each leaf into bite-sized pieces.  You can keep the stems to make a great soup, (just throw them in a pot with any other extra veggie parts you may have on hand, cover with water, bring to a boil simmer for 5-10 minutes, then blitz with an immersion blender).

In a large bowl, mix together olive oil, sumac and salt.  Add kale, and toss to coat with your hands.

Lay out on a baking sheet or pizza pan.  I use a round pizza pan with holes in the bottom – the extra airflow seems to decrease the cooking time even further.

Bake at 225 F for 20 minutes, then check on the kale.  You may need to wiggle the kale around to get it unstuck from the pan.  Bake for another 10-15 minutes, until the kale is dried out and crispy.  You’ll find that this can take longer depending on how damp your kale is, just keep going until the kale is crispy.

Let cool, and enjoy!  Who am I kidding?  You’ll likely eat them warm from the oven… enjoy!

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Categories: Gluten-Free, Side Dish, Snack, Vegan, Vegetarian

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10 Comments on “All I want for Christmas: Kale Chips”

  1. December 22, 2009 at 1:49 pm #

    What a neat idea! I want to try it, but where can I buy sumac? Love your blog. isobel.

  2. December 22, 2009 at 2:45 pm #

    Thanks, Isobel!

    I get sumac at St. Lawrence Market, in one of the basement shops right across from Rube’s (sorry, can’t remember the name). It comes in a little plastic baggie, and is bright red.

    Did you know sumac grows on the Bayview extension and all around Toronto? I’m always tempted to jump out of my car and grab some, but I wouldn’t know what to do with it!

  3. December 22, 2009 at 7:07 pm #

    Actually, we have sumac trees within reach across our back fence in the next door garden. And tons of them up at the farm. But I was always taught as a child that sumac was poisonous, so I wonder if ‘your’ sumac is a different breed from the local stuff. BTW, we used to make red ink out of sumac when I was a tad (back in the dark ages.) i.

  4. December 22, 2009 at 11:01 pm #

    Hmmmmm, who knew! Now that is interesting information…

    From: http://www.chow.com/ingredients/297
    “Note: Several related plants of the genus Rhus are used as ornamentals in Europe and in North America. While these are mostly harmless, they may be mildly toxic and are not the same as the sumac used as a spice. The closely related New World genus Toxicodendron, formerly Rhus, contains highly toxic plants that are often referred to as sumac, including poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac. The fruits of Toxicodendron species are white to pale gold, not red.”

    I bet you “mine” is imported all the way from the Mediterranean, then.

  5. December 22, 2009 at 11:02 pm #

    Oooh, more sources for Toronto sumac, from http://www.thestar.com/article/679607

    Ararat International Foods, 1800 Avenue Rd. (at Melrose Ave.), 416-782-5722.

    The Spice Trader, 805 Queen St. W. (at Niagara St.), 647-430-7085, http://www.thespicetrader.ca

    House of Spice, 190 Augusta Ave. (at Baldwin St.), 416-593-9724.

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