Let’s talk kale.
Thanks in large part to my beloved Bahraini farmers market, more often than not, I find myself silly with kale these days. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining – I mean can you ever have too much kale? Especially since at 500 fils a bunch (that’s around $1.33), it is a fraction of the cost at mainstream supermarkets where it’s usually imported from the US.
But what do you do when you’ve portioned off enough for a week’s worth of green juices, smoothies, salads, and stews only to be left with a heaping bowl full of crisp, fresh locally grown kale practically screaming to be consumed?
You dig out that jar of za’atar you haven’t touched in ages, and make these kale chips.
- 1 large bunch kale, de-stemmed, washed and spun - torn into bite size pieces (approx 3 cups)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1-2 tbsp za'atar seasoning
- ½ - 1 tsp sea salt
- Place your washed and dried kale into a large mixing bowl and drizzle olive oil
- Using your hands, massage the olive oil into the kale lightly until well coated
- Add seasonings and mix well
- In batches, place kale in the basket of your air fryer set to 170 degrees C. The chips should be ready when the edges are brown but not burned, so ensure to keep an eye (and nose) on them as they cook
- If you don't have an air-fryer, you can also bake these at 170 degrees in your oven on a parchment lined baking tray. They should take around 10-15 minutes in a pre-heated oven.
The idea to air-fry these was, if I do say so myself, nothing short of a stroke of genius. Alright alright, I kid, but in all honesty the air-fryer is actually a great way to make these for the simple reason that it combines the air drying action of a dehydrator with the heat of an oven to give you crisp, evenly cooked chips in a matter of minutes.
A note: if you’re not a za’atar fan, you can substitute any spice blend or herb you like, or even some lemon, nutritional yeast and garlic powder for a cheesier chip. I for one love the zesty, herb and sesame flavour imparted by the aromatic thyme and olive oil in this combination.
Air-fryers have gained a lot of traction in this part of the world over the last few years, an unsurprising fact given the high incidence of diet-related health issues like obesity and diabetes. While I initially faced some trepidation with what exactly I could make in my birthday-gifted air fryer (my friends know me too well), it has become a staple item in my kitchen especially when experimenting with healthier versions of traditional recipes, like my gluten-free Ramadan samosas.
Oh, and on the topic of kale prices – I plan on getting the details of my preferred kale vendor at the farmer’s market so I can continue to buy from them year round. If anyone in Bahrain is interested, shoot me an e-mail and Ill forward you the information once I have it. Until next time, friends!