27 January 2011

Kale Chips and Roasted Broccoli and Asparagus

I decided to document my most recent creation of the above mentioned tastiness just for the heck of it. If you have always wanted to try either of these recipes, now is your chance!

First, I made the kale chips because they cook at a lower temperature and I wanted to be sure we had something to munch on before dinner. First I took the kale out and broke it off the rib. I have baked it without removing it from the rib before, but occasionally you get a really hard, stringy rib that totally ruins the experience so I decided to remove the leaves this time. I washed them and dried them and threw them into a bowl. Then I added a very small amount of lemon juice, olive oil and sea salt. I don't know why, but I think the lemon added a slightly less delicious taste this time so I think when I make them again I will omit it.

I preheated the oven to 250 degrees. Then I tossed the kale leaves with the ingredients and made sure to rub them down with the oil. I must point out though that the leaves SHOULD NOT BE WET. You only need a few drops of oil for each leaf, basically enough so they have a bit of glisten. But, if they are too wet, they won't crisp the right way. That is very important! I cannot stress the importance of that enough! :)

So I arranged the leaves on the baking sheet so they would not touch each other. Sort of. It was hard because I didn't have enough space, but I made do.

I put them in the oven for 30 minutes. When I took them out, I carefully turned them over (this is harder to do than you think!) and I returned them to the oven for another 10 minutes. Then, take them out and enjoy!

While I was baking the kale, I got my asparagus and broccoli ready for roasting. I used the same general technique of washing them, drying and placing them into a bowl.

Then I dressed them the same way as I did with the kale only here you can be more liberal with the oil and lemon. I also added fresh ground pepper in addition to the salt, but for roasting, the simpler the better! I turned the oven up to 400 degrees, but theoretically you can roast at any temperature, it just depends on how long you want to wait for your yummy food.

As you will notice, I actually cut up the stems of the broccoli to roast along with the florets because although Heidi is not fond of them, Piper and I really enjoyed the way they crisped in the oven. I did not chop the entire stem, however, just the lower inch or so below the floret. These veggies spent a good half hour in the oven and though I did not time them exactly, I specifically looked for a certain degree of crispiness on the florets of the broccoli. They get a nice brown color and appear to want to crumble at your touch. If they go too long, they could burn - so watch out!

Both of these are really great options if you want to add some variety to your vegetable eating. I love roasting potatoes, brussels sprouts, onions and garlic and I look forward to roasting cauliflower some day soon!

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