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Kale chips with Pecorino and cracked pepper

If you haven’t met kale, it’s time that you do. A member of the cabbage family, this cruciferous vegetable is among the most nutrient-rich around, as a high source of vitamin K, vitamin C, calcium, fiber and antioxidants beta-carotene & lutein. On top of being a source of omega-3 fatty acids, kale’s rich phytonutrient content is responsible for a growing interest in its potential health benefits, especially regarding chronic disease prevention.

Kale is considered as vegetable royalty for its high nutritional value & low caloric impact, and rightfully so. But I happen to enjoy it because it’s delicious and versatile.

Kale grows into the winter hitting its peak in the early spring, which means finding it right now should be no trouble. When you’re shopping for kale, you might notice different varieties. My personal favourite is Cavolo Nero or Tuscan kale – it has darker leaves, is milder in flavour and really hearty. Enjoy kale raw in salads, simply sautéed, tossed into stir-fries or added to soups at the last minute for a pop of green colour.

 

Kale chips with Pecorino and cracked pepper

Kale chips are all the rage lately and if you’re just getting acquainted with the vegetable, this is definitely the way to go.                        It’s a fun, healthy way to snack that’s so good, you’ll be crunching away addictively.

Servings: 4      Prep time: 10 minutes   Cook time: 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch curly kale, approx 8 cups torn leaves 
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper, approx 12 turns of your grinder
  • 1/3 cup Pecorino romano cheese, freshly grated 
  • Salt

 

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 300 º F. Line a rimmed sheet pan with parchment paper and set aside.

2. With a knife, remove the rib running through the centre of each leaf, then tear the leaves with your fingers into smaller pieces.

I used curly kale for this recipe because it crisps-up really nicely in the oven, but feel free to use whatever you have on hand.

 

3. Wash and dry the leaves very well. (If they’re still wet, the oil won’t adhere and they’ll just steam instead of crisping!)

4. Place the kale in a bowl, add the olive oil and cracked black pepper. Rub each leaf to make sure they’re all equally coated.

5. Evenly spread the kale on the sheet pan and sprinkle with the grated Pecorino cheese. (When you’re using only a few ingredients, you really can’t overlook getting the best you can find. So get those arms working and freshly grate that cheese!)

6. Place in the oven for 30-35 minutes, until the kale chips are nicely crisp.

7. When they’re still hot, sprinkle with a pinch of salt (you won’t need much since the cheese is salty)

8. Serve and enjoy!

Have you ever eaten kale? What healthy snack are you raging over lately?

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