When I was a young child living in the Philippines, my father and I used to frequent these Spanish-style bodega restaurants in Manila. There was one thing on the menu we always started with: a fried spinach appetizer. The spinach leaves were coated in a light, tempura-like batter and fried until crispy. On the side, garlicky mayonnaise accompanied it. Oh, I remember devouring these, one leaf at a time, one after another. It was definitely THE appetizer of the 80′s in Manila, and it was my favourite “vegetable!”
Fast forward to this day, I try to avoid frying (even though I really, really like fried anything). I once went the healthier route and oven-roasted my spinach, but the dainty leaves didn’t really take to it that well; they merely wilted.
But kale, oh my holy kale! That’s a different story! I buy the organic, curly-leafed ones because they’re perfect for crisping in the oven. When kale comes in contact with heat, it tends to brown quickly (so stand guard by the oven door). Kale’s vivid green colour will turn a drab brown instantly (not the prettiest sight), but when your mouth hits that first crunchy bite, I bet that you will nod your head to the smoky, savoury taste. I’ll even bet that you won’t be able to stop munching on 1 or 2 or 3 or…lots!
Making Crispy Kale couldn’t be any easier, I swear. It’s almost a no-brainer. It’s a healthy, delicious snack that even kids are willing to try. I know mine are fascinated by these paper-thin, crunchy kale chips. Pair it with a nice dipping sauce like this Black Truffle Garlic Aioli, and you’ve got a delicious appetizer or side dish!
I like to make my own aioli from time to time, but if you don’t have the energy to do so, it’s OK, too. It’s not a crime to use a bottled one, but for those following a Paleo- or SCD- or any health diet, it’s advisable to whip up your own.
Making crispy kale at home is a healthier alternative to reaching for those heart-attack-in-a bag chips that are laden with trans-fat and sodium! So, what are you waiting for, let’s bake and dip to banish the munchies!
|Crispy Kale with Black Truffle Garlic Aioli Dip||
- ~~ For the Crispy Kale ~~
- 1 bunch organic curly green kale, cut or torn to bite-sized pieces and tough ribs removed
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin, cold-pressed coconut oil or olive oil
- about 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- ~~ For the Black Truffle Garlic Aioli ~~
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 cup unrefined macadamia nut oil (or olive oil, if macadamia nut oil is not available)
- 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon black truffle oil or black truffle in oil (jar), minced
- salt and pepper to taste
- To make the aioli, blend egg and lemon juice in a food processor.
- Slowly add in the macadamia nut oil (or olive oil) while processing to fully emulsify.
- When the oil has emulsified and you have a creamy texture, add minced garlic and black truffle oil (or minced black truffle, if using) and blend until smooth.
- Season with salt and pepper and give it a short pulse or two. Makes 1 cup.
- Aioli can be chilled in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- To make the crispy kale, preheat the oven to 425 F and place a rack on the top-middle.
- Wash the kale under running water and dry with a towel or paper towels.
- When dry, chop the curly leaves into bite-sized pieces, discarding the tough middle ribs and stalks.
- In a large bowl, toss kale leaves with coconut or olive oil and sea salt. Mix with your hands, making sure to rub some oil in between the curled leaves.
- Place on a large baking sheet or cookie sheet, spreading them out evenly.
- Bake for 8 to 10 minutes.
- Serve crispy kale chips with aioli.