Aperitif is the popular French tradition of serving a cocktail (usually one to stimulate appetite like champagne or vermouth) and a light snack before dinner. Aperitif derives from the latin word aperire, which literally means ‘to open’. It opens you to conversation, to enjoying friends and family, and of course, it opens your digestion and prepares you for the meal to come. I love this hour. When we are in France, it’s a perfect opportunity to catch up with family, friends or neighbors, while nibbling and sipping.
We carry on this tradition in the states and at our last aperitif, I put a “greener” twist on things, and I served these lovely kale chips to start. These are my “go-to” recipe anytime we are entertaining guests. They will satisfy your fussiest of customers (like 3 year old children). You’d never know these puppies are packed with so much goodness! Kale has really come a long way from the days of being served as a garnish alongside an orange slice at some of the classiest of dives….you know what I am talking about. Yes. Now this leafy veg has taken center stage in the foodie arena, it’s all the buzz in the eater world. So what’s all the hype about?
For starters, there aren’t many other vegetables that can compete with the cancer-fighting and inflammation-reducing qualities that kale has. Let’s start with it’s phytonutrient content, which are tiny molecules in plants that have incredible transformative abilities (of your cells!). One is called sulfurophane, which has natural detoxifying abilities that boosts your liver to get rid of toxins while also reducing inflammation. Another is kaempferol, which turns on your “fountain of youth” genes.
Eat kale, live longer? I’m in! Just one cup of kale boasts 134% of your DV of vitamin C, 206 % of your vitamin A, and a whopping 684% of vitamin K! All of that for just a meager 33 calories. It also contains calcium, and because of the high amount of vitamin K, the calcium is absorbed better than it would be from milk.
So why not impress your friends at your next soirée and serve-up some super-easy (although they don’t have to know) uber-healthy, lovely kale chips.
Ode to Kale:
Oh kale, how I love your green face.
From the earth, to my plate
In my smoothie, glowing my skin
Kale, I see us growing old together
Kale, oh kale, you I will never forget
- 1 bunch lacinato Kale
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- sprinkle of sea salt to taste
- Minced garlic
- Sesame seeds
- Spices of choice
- Preheat the oven to 275. Cut stems from kale leafs and size as you wish (big chips, small chips?). Drizzle with olive oil and seasonings, and add any additional toppings here. Toss until leaves are well coated. Spread thinly on baking sheets making sure there are not too many overlapping. Place in oven for around 35 min, give or take depending on your oven. Check every 10 min and turn leaves. They are done when they are crispy.
- Serve with a dip, a bowl of pistachios, and other lovely spreads.