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#KALE

Did you ever imagine I’d be writing about kale chips? I sure didn’t. I might be going through some sort of a weird food phase. I’m bored? It feels adolescent, like I should be yelling at you: It’s not a phase! I’ve been making a lot of vegetarian food that you might find on Pinterest. Like, I actually made one of those pizzas on a cauliflower crust (It was really delicious, but had absolutely nothing to do with pizza.). I also made this [1] vegan olive shake that Kenji wrote about over on Serious Eats (It’s great!). We normally eat vegetarian food at home, but it’s usually the same sort or salad/bread/cheese/veg combos. Lately I have been tackling recipes that are fussier, veganier. I’m just trying to keep things interesting.

(Maybe it is a phase.)

But back to the kale chips. The recipe comes from A Modern Way to Eat by Anna Jones, which is a cookbook that I absolutely love. I am much more comfortable with vegetarian cookbooks from the UK than I am with anything being published in the States. The Brits manage to maintain some humor and perspective. Throughout A Modern Way to Eat, Jones refers to non-whole grain pasta as “normal” pasta, which I find totally endearing. Anna Jones was trained and worked for many years with Jamie Oliver, but has also built an impressive resume [2] in her independent work.  She’s a good writer and is clearly passionate about home cooking. Her enthusiasm is contagious and her laid-back attitude is encouraging. There are several sections in the book where she suggests (usually through clever graphics) that you should experiment and create your own recipes. They manage to be fun and inspiring rather than an overwhelming bore (which so often this technique can turn into). She’s a really fresh voice in food, and I look forward to future books and the rest of her career. It’s worth noting that the book is also a stunner. One of my favorite photographers and all-around good guy, Brian Ferry [3], took the pictures and they’re awesome—he also helps keep the book real. It is one of those rare books that is as good looking as it is interesting, and I want to cook almost everything in it.

We loved having a tin of these on the counter, they were a great snack after work while we were preparing dinner. They’re packed full of flavor.

Sesame Miso Kale Chips (from A Modern Way to Eat [4] by Anna Jones. I have the UK version of the book, but it is being released in the US in April.)

Preheat your oven to 250°F and line a couple of baking trays with parchment paper.

Remove the ribs from the kale, and tear kale into chip-sized pieces (keeping in mind that they will shrink) and place them in a large bowl.

Mix the remaining ingredients in a small jar and give them a shake. Pour the dressing over the kale and toss well to make sure every leaf is coated. Arrange the kale in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.

Bake the kale for 30 minutes. Take them out of the oven, and loosen the kale from the parchment with a spatula. Put the trays back in the oven, turn the oven off, and leave them until they have crisped up, about another 30 minutes.

Store in an airtight container for up to a week.

(*The measurement on the kale does not need to be exact. It’s a tricky thing because stems are being removed and you might remove more or less than me. I used 1 bunch from the market, which was probably more than 200g. You want the leaves to be coated in the dressing, without too much excess. Don’t overthink it.)