Grilled Kale

This is simply one of my favorite dishes, and it has a legendary place in the history of my marriage. My wife was not a fan of this vegetable—or of any vegetable. Fan might not be the right word. It’s not just that she didn’t like them; she actively campaigned against them, prosecuting them, all guilty as charged, although on scant evidence. It was this simple dish that got her to at least begin to consider laying down her sword. The crisp texture, the smoky, charred taste, the transparency of the whole process got her to let her guard down. And now it is a staple. So you might say that this recipe is a gateway vegetable. Other kale varieties are fine for this, but lacinato is the only variety that crisps rather than wilts, allowing you to get great texture very quickly.–Barton Seaver

LC There’s A New Kale Chip In Town Note

Summer’s answer to the roasted kale chip? You guessed it. Go fire up the grill. Seems there’s a new kale chip in town….

Grilled Kale Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 15 M
  • 15 M
  • Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 2 bunches lacinato kale (also known as black, dinosaur, or Tuscan kale)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt

Directions

  • 1. Prepare a grill, preferably with some chunks of maple or oak thrown on the fire, on medium heat.
  • 2. Strip away and discard the stems from the kale. Tear the leaves into large bite-size pieces (large enough so they don’t fall between the grates of the grill) and toss them with the olive oil and a good pinch salt. Arrange the kale in a single layer on the grill rack. They will begin to sizzle almost immediately. This is a good thing. Resist the temptation to turn them. The burn is good; the burn is your friend. After 4 to 5 minutes, flip the leaves once to give a slight char to the other side of the leaves. Cook for another minute or so, then transfer the kale to a platter. That’s it. Serve immediately.
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Testers Choice

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Testers Choice
Angie Hsing

Jun 18, 2013

Quote from a professional chef at our barbecue: “What a great reprieve from all the meat here….” This was a perfect addition to our meat- heavy cookout—even the carnivores were curious to see the big leafy greens on the grill. The leaves picked up a smoky, meaty aroma, and were nice on their own or on a burger. They were a bit like kale chips, but with smoke. The cooking time was accurate. I’ll be making these at many future barbecue gatherings.

Testers Choice
Jo Ann Brown

Jun 18, 2013

Did you take one look at the recipe and ask yourself, “Why didn’t I think of that?!” I did. I tend to avoid turning the oven on during summer, so what fun it is to find a recipe that turns a hot commodity into a summer-friendly hybrid. I cannot think of anything easier and more efficient than harnessing the residual heat of the grill after cooking your mains to roast a bunch or 2 of kale. Simply scatter the leaves on the grate and then heat the big, nubby, blue-green leaves until they’re spotted with char. I stuck to arranging them in a single layer and this proved successful in providing a uniform cooking time from top to bottom, left and right. The charred spots are pronounced and complex tasting. I see them being an awesome garnish over a myriad of dishes. And they’d stack up nicely next to a cold, hoppy beer.


Comments
Comments
  1. Judy says:

    Yep, why DIDN’T I think of this?? If it would just stop deluging by dinnertime, I’ll try these tonight.

  2. NancyB says:

    I agree–why didn’t I think of that, so I could avoid heating up the kitchen for my kale chips?

    Has anyone tried just grilling the kale leaves whole, then letting people nibble the leafy parts off the stems for themselves? Maybe I can save that prep time, too….

    • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

      Love that, NancyB! We didn’t, but chances are someone out there has…anyone?

      • NancyB says:

        I did give grilling whole kale leaves a try, but I don’t recommend it. The grilling part worked fine, but the results were hard to eat–the leaves really too hard to handle, the ribs hard to eat around, etc. It needed the approach artichoke leaves get, but kale leaves are too big for that to work well.

  3. Do you think you could grill the kale leaves on George foreman grill?

    • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

      Actually, no, Judy, I don’t. I’m sorry. The way the George Foreman grill is made, the kale is going to steam, not grill, and they’re going to turn soggy. Plus the smoke flavor is really what makes these special. Perhaps you’d care to try our kale chips made in the oven…?

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