Wednesday, June 29, 2011

On the Kale Chip Bandwagon - and off again

Seems like everyone's making baked kale chips these days, and it sounds like a great idea - turn a super-healthy food into something that seems like a snack food. What's not to love?

And the basic recipe is simple - remove the tough rib from some kale, tear the leafy stuff into pieces, then drizzle with a bit of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and maybe some flavorings. Then bake until the kale is crisp. It takes about 10 minutes for the kale to get dry and crisp. The hard thing is that it can go from crisp and done to crisp and burned in very little time.

As far as oven temps, I saw a wide range of temperatures, but I went for a lower temperature - 325 degrees. I figured it would cook more evenly and save me from overcooking the kale.

I ended up with kale chips, for sure. Thin, shattery, green. I liked the flavor.

I hated the texture.

So I found something else to do with the chips that would take advantage of the flavor and obliterate the texture. Salad dressing. Oh yeah. It was gloriously green.

And tasty.

Kale - Lemon - Garlic Salad Dressing

1/4-1/2 cup kale chips, packed in the cup
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup Greek-style yogurt
1 tablespoon garlic olive oil
Zest of 1/2 of a lemon
Juice of 1/2 lemon (divided)
1/2 teaspoon salt (or more to taste)
Up to 1/4 cup milk or buttermilk

Put the kale, mayonnaise, yogurt, olive oil, lemon zest, half of the lemon juice, and salt in a food processor or blender. Blend until the kale is obliterated.

Continue blending until the pieces are as fine as you want them to be. (If you let the mixture sit for a few minutes, the kale will hydrate a bit and it will be easier to blend it.)

Add the milk or buttermilk until the dressing is the thickness you desire. Taste and add more lemon juice, if desired, and add more salt, if needed.

Keep refrigerated until you serve.