How to Roast Kale

The freshest kale roasts up the crispest.
The freshest kale roasts up the crispest. (Image: Jupiterimages/ Images)

Kale is one of those ingredients that makes you say, "ehh," the universal sound of ambivalence. If kale gets any attention, it's because someone still appreciates a well-braised green when they see one, or a food runner at a casual-themed restaurant dropped some on your plate before he brought it to you. But there's a whole other side to kale few take advantage of, and the way there runs through the oven. Oven-roasting puts kale in a different context, giving it the crispy makeover it deserves. A replacement for potato chips it's not, but roasted kale will make you look at this cabbage differently.

Things You'll Need

  • Paper towels or a lettuce spinner
  • Kitchen knife
  • Mixing bowl
  • Olive oil
  • Cookie sheet
  • Spatula
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

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Rinse the kale and pat it dry with paper towels or dry it in a lettuce spinner. You want the kale as dry as you can get it before you put it in the oven. Heat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

Trim the thick stems from the kale with a kitchen knife and discard, then place the leafy remainder in a mixing bowl. Drizzle the kale with olive oil and massage it in with your hands.

Spread the kale out in an even layer on a cookie sheet. You don't have to space the kale leaves apart, they can overlap slightly. Place the kale on the middle oven rack.

Roast the kale until crisp, about 12 minutes. Separate any clumped leaves with a spatula after about five minutes of roasting. Remove the kale from the oven.

Season the kale to taste. Fresh kale only needs a few cracks of black pepper and some coarse kosher salt to really shine.

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