It's the summer time. Your garden is ON FIRE. Stuff is growing EVERYWHERE. You realize you must have let some kale go to seed last year, because you have a bumper crop coming up all over the place in your back plot. (Is it just me?)
Maybe you subscribed to your first CSA growers' box this year, and you have so much kale you don't know what to do with it all.
Or maybe you are dreaming of ways to put up the harvest, of taking a sensory-filled snapshot of the bounty and storing it for those colder climes that are a-comin. Oh yes, they're coming. I mean we have some time yet, do not fret.
What to do, what to do.
Might I recommend making a batch of kale chips?
Whether you have a dehydrator or plan to use your oven, these tasty morsels take a bit of work, but I like to think of it as a bit of a meditative exercise. It is worth it to take a good 45 minutes to pull this whole thing together; your taste buds will thank you. The aroma that fills your house as you are drying these babies will make all the neighbours hungry! And you will have saved the harvest from going to the compost heap! (Oh sure, kale is really good for you. But besides that, who doesn't want a little crunch for snacktime?)
Do not be dissuaded by the long list of ingredients, they really build on the flavour and add a nutritional wallop to help sustain you. And those who will be eating these. Totes ok to not share though.
KALE CHIPS - the do it yourself kind
1 cup cashew pieces
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2/3 of a red bell pepper
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 cup good quality olive oil
2 tbsp miso paste (any kind will do)
3 tbsp nutritional yeast
2 large dates, pitted
1.5 tsp sea salt
1 tbsp ground pepper
1.5 tsp curry powder
pinch of chipotle pepper
2 tbsp of juice from a ferment
2 tbsp of filtered water
2-3 bunches of kale, washed; middle rib cut out and greens cut into bite sized pieces
Six to twelve hours before you plan to be making your kale chips, put your cashew pieces in a glass jar along with the apple cider vinegar, and cover with filtered water. Allow to sit on the counter with a lid on, and out of direct sunlight for 6-12 hours.
When you are ready to assemble your kale chips, dump the cashews and give them a good rinse. Put them along with the remaining ingredients (minus the kale!) in to a high powered blender and blitz to combine. You can also put in a tall glass jar and using your handblender, blitz the whole lot together.
Drop your dressing in to a big bowl, and add in your chopped bite sized pieces of kale. Using your hands, mash the paste into the kale leaves making sure each leaf is covered with the paste.
Simply lay out your slathered greens onto a parchment-paper lined cookie sheet and pop in to a preheated oven to the lowest temperature your oven can handle. Allow them to bake for anywhere between 45 minutes and 1.5 hours per side, depending on your oven and temp, flipping halfway through to bake evenly. You'll know they're done when they're crispy.
Alternately, you can also crisp these up in a dehydrator set to 115F for 6-8 hours.