The kale chip: definitely not something my ancestors ate. To construct a “healthy” diet, we emulate the diets of ancient civilizations that thrived. No, kale chips were probably not among the staples consumed by builders of the great civilizations. Kale has shifted from super-trendy to fallen super food status in a few short years. While I am not a food fad fan, and resisted making both kale chips and kale salad for years, variety is the key to a diet that supports health. So, with the recent news that traces of thallium and other heavy metals have been detected in raw kale, I have not stopped cooking or eating it (it also contains heavy doses of Vitamins K, A and C). I eat kale – along with collards, bok choy, watercress, mustard and other dark leafy greens – about once or twice a week, usually cooked. When I do make kale chips, they’d better be pretty perfect.
one bunch fresh winterbor (or red Russian or dinosaur) kale
4 Tablespoons EVOO (3 for the chips, 1 for the pasta)
a few pinches sea salt
5-7 fresh chives
4 cups leftover (or freshly cooked) rigatoni
fresh grated parmigiana cheese, if desired
Cut each leaf into bite-sized (chip sized) pieces (about 5-7 per leaf.)
and dry the kale well.
Place the dry kale pieces in a bowl and disperse the sea salt and drizzle the olive oil on them.
Massage the salt and oil into the leaves carefully and thoroughly, taking time to touch each piece of kale. Spread each piece of salted, oiled kale neatly on a cookie sheet.
Bake for 20-30 minutes, checking after 15 minutes to be sure the kale is not too brown or burnt. Remove from oven.
Chop the chives into tiny pieces. In the meantime, heat a stainless or cast iron skillet on a medium flame for about 30 seconds. Add about one Tablespoon of olive oil and let it warm for another 20 seconds. Add the cooked rigatoni and the chopped chives. Use a wooden spoon to toss the pasta in the skillet. Add the kale chips, toss, and plate the pasta.
Serve with grated parmigiana cheese if desired, but really not necessary. Serve any extra kale chips on the side, of course.
©Nancy Wolfson-Moche 2015