I could never get into kale. Heck, I’ve long been timid about greens in general — the delicate ones like baby spinach and arugula were easy but as soon as things got a little heavier, I got nervous. When I finally found a respectable green I found palatable — Swiss chard, which I think of as the green for spinach people — I went to town with it: a tart, a spaghetti dish and then gratin. But I still couldn’t warm to kale. Because I didn’t like the way it tasted. And I don’t care if something is chock-full of vitamin A, C and calcium, I don’t care if it makes you live longer or feel stronger or fixes the budget deficit, I’ve got this hang-up wherein I won’t eat food if it doesn’t taste good to me. (My offspring is a little less particular, it seems.) And kale just didn’t.
But in February, I began seeing a recipe for baked kale chips flitting about the internet. I’m not sure where it started (or re-started, as I see folks have actually been making this for years), but I’m guessing with a Dan Barber recipe in Bon Appetit that month. His version used whole leaves and arranged them daintily in a pitcher; the more rustic version I’d seen on blogs (and hooray for that) was simple to de-stem the kale, cut or tear it up, toss it with a bit of oil and bake it until crisp.