Archive for March, 2009

Eat Your Greens

March 27, 2009

It’s been a stellar week or so for the good food folks. Alice appeared on 60 Minutes espousing her delicious revolution. (What took CBS so long?)

Michelle Obama broke ground on a White House victory garden. (But how can we convince Barack that beets are divine?)

And, where I live, the Berkeley Unified School District won praise for its vegetarian-friendly school lunch program. (Does your kid eat what’s on offer at school? Alas, my son refuses to entertain the idea that school lunch could be good.)

These events are interrelated, natch, and fodder for future blog posts.

For now, it’s as good a time as any to launch Lettuce Eat Kale, a space where I’ll muse about food, family, growing greens — and share a recipe or two. To learn more about me, Sarah Henry, and my connection to kids and food, check out my About page.

Today’s offering: Roasted kale, of course. I can eat a bowl on my own. The kale ends up nice and crispy and chip-like; kids dig eating kale this way — especially if they get a chance to add their own zing (see below).

This is a super simple side dish, cheap as chips, and healthy to boot. A couple of caveats: Go easy on the oil — you don’t want a soggy green mess. Watch the time carefully — burnt, brown kale doesn’t taste good. Season with care — unless you’re crazy for seasoning — then throw caution to the wind. Enjoy.

Update: Try this tip I recently learned from Jaden over at Steamy Kitchen. Salt your kale after cooking for extra crispiness.


Roasted Kale

You need:

* a bunch of kale (curly, dino, combo of the two, whatever floats your boat)
* olive oil
* sea salt
* lemon pepper and/or red wine vinegar (if you want to get fancy or experiment)

To do:

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

2. Strip the leaves off the kale stems. You can cut them, but it’s more fun to strip ’em.

3. Wash the leaves and shake them dry (good kid job).

4. Tear the kale into pieces or cut into 1 inch-strips.

5. Put the pieces in a bowl, drizzle with about 2 tablespoons of olive oil to coat well.

6. Sprinkle with salt, toss the leaves with your hands (also fun for kids).

7. Spread on a baking sheet and pop it in the oven.

8. Roast for about 7 minutes, or until some of the leaves are tinged a tad brown.

9. Take baking sheet out of the oven, turn the kale with tongs, return to oven for another three minutes or so. The leaves should start to get a little crisp.

10. Return the kale to the unwashed bowl, pour on another tablespoon of olive oil — add some ground lemon pepper or a couple of drops of vinegar if you want.

11. Toss the kale with the tongs. Add more oil, vinegar, salt, or pepper to taste.

12. Toss again and serve straight away.