Coole Farm Kale Crisps
We’ve yet to find superior kale to the kind that Mark and Helen from Coole Farm produce just outside Ardee. Chemical, fertiliser and pesticide-free, the couple are passionate about producing in harmony with nature and particular about soil health –– and the end product shows. From their salad leaves to their kale, you can taste the quality so in this recipe we want to let the quality speak for itself and make a healthy and delicious snack that’s a cinch to prepare: kale crisps!
- 2 bags of Coole Farm Kale
- A couple of tbsp of Newgrange Gold rapeseed oil
- Sea salt (Oriel Sea Salt or Rafferty’s Fine Foods are great local producers to use here)
Note: the kale will shrink in the oven, so two bags may seem like a lot but you’ll be surprised!
- Firstly, wash the kale and allow to dry completely. Remove the leaves from the stalks by holding by the stalk and pulling gently down through the leaf. Don’t throw out the stalks –– reserve for stock!
- In a large mixing bowl, drizzle 2-3 tbsp of the oil over the kale and get your clean hands in –– massage the oil as best you can into all the leaves.
- Heat the oven to 180ºC and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper or a reusable baking liner, just when you’re about to pop the tray of kale crisps in, drop the oven to 160ºC. The kale gets a shock from the initial heat and then continues to dry out at the lower temperature. Keep in mind that you’re not necessarily roasting these to get colour, you’re more or less drying them out so erring for a lower temperature is better. As this kale is particularly large, and bearing in mind you may need to use two trays so the kale doesn’t steam and wilt by overcrowding, the time in the oven varies, so anywhere from 15-25 minutes should do it.
- When dry and crisp (there may be a couple of leaves lightly licked in colour by the oven, that’s par for the course) remove and sprinkle generously with salt, then allow cool for a minute before serving.
- Store in an airtight container if leaving for a few hours or few days to eat, but these are best eaten the day they’re made.
Tip: Naturally quite a bitter leaf, seasoning with salt brings kale alive but you can feel free to go wild with the seasoning –– you could sprinkle on za’atar for a Middle Eastern flavour, smoked paprika for a Spanish twist or even curry powder for an Indian take on the recipe. For something a little fierier, herbier or smokier you could switch Newgrange Gold’s regular oil for their garlic & chilli, smokey or garden herbs and lemon oil; or try their unique Camelina oil with its distinctly nutty, grassy flavour. These kale crisps would add gorgeous texture to dishes as a side or a topping, particularly lovely stirred through salads at the last minute to retain the crunch!