Olive Crazy: All About Olives and Olive Oil
Jul 042011

Kale chip recipes are everywhere these days, but after reading several, before attempting to make some, I became suspicious that these recipes had not actually been tried. The evidence – the use of the term “drizzle” for delivering extra virgin olive oil to the prospective kale chip.

There is no way that olive oil or any oil can properly coat the future chip by drizzling on it. The kale will be either under or over coated. Neither option makes for a tasty kale chip. I have an unorthodox olive oil delivery system which I will mention at the end of the recipe, and I ask your forgiveness in advance. So here’s how Olive Crazy makes kale chips.

1 bunch kale
extra virgin olive oil (perfect opportunity to try a flavored oil here)
salt (I use light salt)
Implements to have at hand: baking sheet, scissors, small spray bottle for olive oil, paper towels.

Wash kale and dry very well with paper towels. Cut off stem and any of the spine that seems too woody. Cut or tear into pieces about the size of a big potato chip. Place on baking sheet (pieces can touch). Spray olive oil over kale, evenly coating. Sprinkle salt over kale. Cook at 350F/177C for about 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool. Get snacking.

One day I decided I needed a way to spray my olive oil without buying a grocery spray can of mystery-olive-oil or going to a fancy store and buying some very expensive, TV-chef-approved glass or stainless steel spray bottle. I pondered for a bit and came up with a solution.

My unconventional olive oil delivery system is a cheap, colorful, plastic spray bottle with a levered spray mechanism. NO! Yes, it is. It’s the kind you find at the pharmacy on a bottom shelf in a basket. I know. I know. This defies some of my previous cautionary tales, but I promise I don’t actually store the oil in the bottle.

When I brought the bottle home from the store I thoroughly cleaned it (including the straw and the spraying part) with dish-washing liquid. I then rinsed it in hot water until most of the soapy residue was gone. Next I rinsed it in cold water. Normally I would have tapped out as much water as I could and let the bottle air-dry but I needed it right away.

I removed as much of the water as possible, poured a bit of the extra virgin olive oil I planned to use in the bottle, and shook it to coat the inside of the bottle. I then did some test sprays on a napkin to clear the straw and sprayer. I disassembled the bottle and turned it upside down on a paper towel – any remaining water runs off first. I added the amount of evoo I needed to use and sprayed. When I was finished. I did not store the oil in the plastic, but went through the above cleansing process again. This time I air-dried it and stored it away until it was needed.

I know it seems like a lot of trouble but the small bottles aren’t difficult to keep clean. Also a small bottle helps prevent users from succumbing to laziness and storing any evoo in the bottle to use the next day – please don’t do it. I’ve thought about it myself, but haven’t given in yet.

May the sun shine through your branches.


  2 Responses to “Extra Virgin Olive Oil Turns Kale into a Snack Food: Kale Chips”

Comments (2)
  1. Your article today got me thinking about an idea I had awhile ago. That is potato chips cook with evoo. My original idea was to deep-fry the potato chips in evoo. This would give the chips a wonderful olive oil flavor and a little bit of healthy food qualities. But I imagine deep-frying potato chips in a pot of evoo could be rather expensive. So, I like your idea of spraying the chips with evoo and baking them. It would be interesting to see how they turn out with this method.

    • Don’t forget to coat the potato chips on both sides or they will stick to the pan. The kale is just coated on one side since it doesn’t stick. However if I was feeling extra frisky I might spray both sides of the kale. I just don’t want them soggy or turn them into an unhealthy snack. Even though extra virgin olive oil is good for you, too much of a good thing is not.

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