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Garlic and Leek Soup with Saffron

This garlic and leek soup with saffron is a variation of traditional Spanish Sopa de Ajo. Every Spanish mother has her personal twist on this soup–the gist is broth simmered with ample garlic. Typically garlic soup includes starchy rice–in this version I’ve used orzo instead.

Two entire bulbs of garlic, a pinch of saffron, and a couple whole cloves give their essence up to a pot of veggie broth. Strain and discard the garlic and you’re left with rich delicious broth you wouldn’t even guess is loaded with garlic–that’s how mellow it gets with a long simmer. Continue Reading…

Crispy Grill-Roasted Kale

This crispy grill-roasted kale is the coolest, most interesting fun vegetable trick I’ve discovered all summer. Vitamin-rich kale becomes a crispy surprise nibble with just a rub of olive oil, a sprinkle of salt and pepper, and a quick roast on the grill.

Crispy Grill-Roasted Kale

Grill-roasted kale is a fun appetizer at to barbecue potlucks. The only prep is wash, then lightly coat the kale leaves with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Grab a beer or margarita and hang out at the grill, turning the leaves over after a minute, as they become crisp. When someone wanders over, offer conversation along with a crispy kale leaf right off the grill. People are blown away with grill-roasted kale’s texture and flavor. Even a professed kale-hater can’t believe what they are tasting.

It doesn’t matter if the kale is curly, red Russian or Lacinato, they all can be roasted directly on a hot grill.

With curly kale, you want to remove the stems and large inner ribs. If you are roasting the flatter Lacinato, aka Tuscan kale, leave the ribs intact, so the leaves keep their long shape. Lacinato kale ribs are tender enough to eat. If your Lacinato leaves are large, just eat around the ribs that might not get tender in the roasting.

Curly or flat, you’re going to go love crispy grill-roasted kale!

Note: If it’s not grilling season–toast your kale in the oven, just until it’s crispy.

Make it a fabulous week–get outside and grill something delicious!

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Crispy Grill-Roasted Kale
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
5 mins
Total Time
15 mins
 

This is a clever way to serve kale, as an appetizer. People are always surprised how delicious it is. Be generous with the oil. One bunch of kale serves about 4 people.

Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings: 4 servings.
Ingredients
  • 1 bunch kale , stems removed (remove inner ribs from curly kale)
  • About 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt, or garlic or onion salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat a grill to medium flame or the oven to 375° degrees. Wash the kale and dry it thoroughly. Toss it in a bowl with the olive oil, gently rubbing the leaves so they are lightly coated with oil on both sides.
  2. Arrange as many leaves as you can on the grill. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Using tongs, turn the leaves over as needed until you see golden brown spots. Remove the from the grill as they become slightly crisp--done.
  3. Alternatively arrange the kale on baking sheets in a single layer and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  4. Roast in the oven 10 to 15 minutes, turning over the leaves after about 6 minutes. When the kale is crisp, it is ready. Season with more salt and pepper if you wish.
Recipe Notes

Monitor the roasting kale closely; it can quickly turn from perfectly crispy to over-toasted.

Here are a couple of old photos of oven-roasted kale.

Crispy Oven-Roasted Kale

Lacinato kale ready for the oven

Crispy oven-Roasted Kale

Roasted Lacinato Kale

Parsley Salsa Verde

Here’s a bright green parsley salsa verde made with shallots, capers, and lemon zest, and of course parsley, mixed with extra virgin olive oil and a light vinegar or lemon juice. Use it to brighten vegetables, soups, and pasta. It’s delicious with eggs, any style and spooned over slices of goat cheese to go with crackers.

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Family Memories, See’s Candies and Chocolate Penuche Cake

My mother in Orange County, California used to send her sister Aunt Jan in Seattle, Washington a huge See’s Candies solid chocolate Easter egg every year. Aunt Jan recalls that she bit off a piece at a time but that the candy didn’t last very long. When I was a girl, I don’t think I ever tasted one of those eggs, because Mom didn’t buy them for us–just for her chocoholic sister. I remember savoring chocolate assortments from See’s during the holidays, but I don’t remember going to the shop and buying them–I think they were gifts to our family.

If you know See’s Candies, it’s likely that you’ve lived in the western United States, or as they say these days, the left coast. You’ll find a See’s Candies shop with its familiar black and white storefront in malls and thriving city centers. There are even See’s kiosks in many western airports–for those last minute impulse gifts, I suppose. When I pass one of those kiosks I have a Pavlovian reaction–my mouth waters in memory. It’s a good thing they only sell packaged chocolate in the airport, because if there was an old-fashioned service counter, I’d have to stop to sample just the one.

Continue Reading…

Potato and Eggplant Curry

About this time of September someone in Park City will ask me if the weekly Farmer’s Market is still going.  Yeah–this is peak harvest time and time to enjoy vegetable abundance! The farm stands are full of ripe huge tomatoes, peaches, pears, plums, butternut and spaghetti squash, bell peppers, the list goes on. Eggplants are gorgeous purple shiny globes, and potatoes–choose your variety. Both were inspiration for this recipe for delicious potato eggplant curry. Continue Reading…