Baked kale is crispy and tender, garnished with parmesan, it makes a healthy, easy and tasty side or snack.
Kale has been popular as far back as the 4th century BC, when the Ancient Greeks used it for medicinal purposes. It was also commonly enjoyed in Europe throughout the Middle Ages. Now, easily available in supermarkets, it is a wonderfully healthy, versatile and inexpensive ingredient to add to the shopping basket.
Kale is a member of the Brassica family which includes cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and cabbage. It is one of the most nutrient dense vegetables that we know of, rich in vitamins A, C, K, iron, and other vitamins and minerals, and low in calories. An interesting recent study has shown how kale is important for brain tissue and eye health and could slow age-related cognitive decline.
A hardy plant, it grows throughout the year and can survive temperatures as low as -15°C/5°F.
Being one of the stronger tasting Brassicas, it combines well with other strong flavours. The parmesan cheese in this recipe complements it beautifully, balancing its astringent qualities.
The leaves can be pulled off the stems easily. Wash and dry them well (preferably in a salad spinner) before cooking.
Kale is wonderful roasted as the natural sugars caramelise, negating any bitterness. Bake for 20 minutes so the leaves become tender and just the edges become slightly crispy. This makes a delicious snack or perfect side.
Baked Kale with Parmesan
- 1 bunch curly kale
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- 1 tablespoon parmesan, freshly grated
- Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C. Remove the leaves from the stems, wash and spin dry. In a large bowl, mix together the kale, oil and seasoning. On a baking sheet, spread the kale out in a thin layer and bake for 20 minutes, stirring once halfway through cooking. Remove from oven and allow to cool on tray before serving with a sprinkling of parmesan cheese.
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