Dang these are good! Kale Chips seemed to be the rage of food bloggers last year. I'll admit, I was skeptical. I love greens, collard greens, mustard greens, spinach, bok choy, Brussels, chard, sweet potato greens, kohlrabi greens, broccoli rabe. The endless list stops short at fenugreek, ick. I love all kinds of leafy greens steamed or sauteed in garlic. The idea of roasting greens into chips didn't quite compute.
My cousin Dina sent me a lovely Christmas package which included smoked sea salt from the Mendocino coast of California, a lovely hand crafted salt made from the pure ocean water off the Mendocino Coast. The harvest of sea water is simmered until delicate crystals of salt appear, then grow and sink to form a salt bed. The salt is raked, drained and layered into open evaporating pans. The sea smoked salt draws its distinctive taste and rich color by smoking the salt in a variety of coastal woods and sea vegetables. After a three day smoke the result is a sea salt that tasted like a bonfire on the beach. If you know me, you know I am crazy about the smell of a bonfire. I can't get enough smoke! I was stymied by the gift, so thoughtful and yet I wasn't sure what to do with such a delicacy. I remembered the blogging rage over Kale Chips and thought they would pair well together.
These are really simple, get a whole bunch of kale, clean it and get it really really dry. Toss the kale in some really good olive oil. I lucked out here because Dina also sent me a lovely bottle of Nelson Family Vineyards extra virgin olive oil from California. Sprinkle with Smoked Sea Salt. Spread the kale in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees, tossing occasionally, for about 20 minutes, or until the the kale is crisp. Sprinkle with more Smoked Sea Salt, to taste and enjoy!