that i may have misnamed this blog,
spoken too soon,
grabbed onto something
that i couldn't fully own.
three seconds earlier,
i realized that while i really do
love not lazy. rustic.
i, it turns out, am a roasting maniac
and i had the perfect name:
from what i can tell, it has yet to be claimed
(quick someone jump on it),
i've heard that blogging tells
you about yourself and my first lesson
was that i love to roast,
which believe it or not,
i didn't realize.
i cook in a hot oven
and on a rimmed baking sheet
more than i cook
any other way.
it's an obvious fallback.
but giving it further thought, i realized
what a pigeon-hole that was,
delicious of a pigeon-hole that it may turn out to be.
sure, i'd write about a chicken (eventually),
fruit and nuts,
maybe that recipe for special-occasion dungeness crab,
i made almost a year ago to the day,
but, then i thought, i'd be done,
cut down before my blogging prime,
forced to launch:
(fyi: also, yet to be snatched up.)
because in all my imagining,
and maybe i'm sometimes guilty of
dreaming inside the culinary box,
(although i hope not),
i never thought
to roast greens.
they're for steaming,
for eating raw,
until this weekend. we
watched jacque pepin, who is
effortlessly lovely and has the ability
to make anything look simple and, more
he was making
chili con carne, which he
prepared in a pressure cooker
and stuffed into
see, what i mean?
he kind of gets away with things
that i would shun
other chefs for.
and he made the whole bundle
look like it wouldn't be a
mess to eat.
but, then, just as i was contemplating
changing the channel,
pepin appeared with a tray of kale and
i heard the word roast.
i put the remote down.
it seemed too easy to work,
too much of a rather
uninspired vegetable -
reserved as an add in
not a star in its own show,
to pack that much punch.
but as we watched him
place the leaves on rack set over a
roasting pan, drizzle with a very tiny
amount of oil and a very light sprinkle
of kosher salt, toss the whole
thing in a 250˚F oven, very cool
by roasting standards,
i knew we had to try
to make crunchy kale.
yes, the end result is crunchy.
like, kettle chip crunchy.
like, you can hear someone in
the next room take a bite, crunchy.
it's was the perfect
accompaniment to the squid stew,
nibbled on the side
crumbled atop the bowls.
(and the next night, when we heated up
the stew leftovers, i stirred the
few remaining pieces of crunchy kale
into the tomato-based broth.
it mellows well.)
these would also be fun as a
garnish for a chicken
or fish dish -
a great alternative to the
fried basil sprig or spinach leaf.
jacques pepin's crunchy kale
pepin cautioned against using too much olive oil, which i strongly second. the pieces that had a few extra drops, were the only ones that didn't perfectly crisp and also seemed to retain extra salt. if you have an oil mister, i think this is a good time to bring it out. the rack helps air circulate all around the leaves, rather than roasting the top and steaming the bottom.
1 bunch kale, stemmed and leaves torn
1 tablespoon olive oil (or less)
heat oven to 250˚F. place oven rack or cooling rack on baking sheet. top with kale leaves. drizzle with olive oil or mist very lightly. sprinkle with kosher salt; toss to coat. roast 20 to 25 minutes, or until leaves are crispy, turning leaves if it seems necessary.