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Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Farmer's Market: Kale Chips

I LOVE the farmer's market!  Ours is held on the courthouse square on Friday mornings. Luckily, my summer vacation allows me to be a regular patron! It's been neat to see the changes in offerings as the season progresses. At first, I went for plants. I got a few herbs, some perennials, and a hanging basket. A few weeks later, berries were in season and I got some of the best strawberries I've ever tasted!

Now it's starting to get good! The veggie selection increases each week and I always seem to find something that wasn't there the week before. Last week, I got a bunch of stuff:

1 giant bulb of fennel, complete with the frilly fronds. I ended up roasting it with some potatoes & zucchini. Yum!
2 big bunches of kale. Recipe for kale chips to follow.
A canteloupe
6 ears of corn
A block of tomato, basil & pine-nut cheese (again, yum!)
 A little lemon-blueberry pie

 A successful trip, indeed!




As I mentioned, I picked up some kale with the intention of making kale chips. I'm currently reading a book that sings the praises of kale, but I'm not at all interested in cooking it down like turnip greens. I'm excited that I'll be able to get some of that kale-y goodness in me & enjoy it!

Yes, I know. 
It's a garnish.

but I promise you, try one of these & you'll be back for more! 

Start by prepping your kale. Rinse it & dry it. Preheat your oven to 275

You want to trim your kale by cutting the stems off and removing the "rib" from the middle.

I did this a couple of different ways.

First, I used my knife to cut around the rib & stem:



 Then I decided to fold the leaf in half and cut the rib & stem off that way:


 
I think the folding method was a bit quicker. 

Toss the leaves with some olive oil, salt & pepper. Spread them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment.

I also squeezed half a lemon over some of the leaves. I can't get enough of lemons lately!




Bake for 20-25 minutes until "chips" are crispy.
They are so good! The lemon-juiced ones kind of reminded me of a salt & vinegar taste. Delicious.
These are pretty delicate and won't really hold up to a dip, but they're good on their own!



Next time I want to experiment with other spices. Garlic powder seems to be good on almost everything!

Phew! Okay! I think I'm caught up on blog posts for a little bit. If you're a local reader, I hope that you weathered the storm. We experienced a really bad storm last Friday that left a major path of destruction throughout our area. still have lots of people without power in addition to ridiculously hot temperatures. I think everyone in our town has a new respect for conveniences such as electricity & water. I'm one who is always looking for the positive in any situation, and I'm happy to say that I've witnessed some fantastic acts of kindness in my neighborhood & community. People helping each other. People working together.

Good, good stuff.