While travelling around the Northeast visiting friends and family, I had the chance to visit a number of farmers’ markets in both the US and Canada. The colours and the assortment of vegetables were mind boggling. As I walked down the alley of pop up vendors at some of these markets, I was amazed by the selection of fruits and vegetables grown naturally without any sort of pesticides. The favorite comment of non-believers is that organic vegetables are not as attractive as the “other ones” was proven wrong after my many market visits.
This year, I was introduced to a vegetable that I had never used in my repertoire of greens…garlic scapes. I was told that they are a mellow version of garlic buds which, after a first bite, I would agree. These long skinny stems with white bulbs at their ends are lovely vegetables when grilled to perfection, salted and drizzled with some good quality extra virgin olive oil. They are also just as tasty when boiled, drained and finished off with yet again some cold pressed olive oil.
Another vegetable that was everywhere this summer and I have often used in salads or soups is kale. Since there was such large amounts of kale in most of the markets, I decided to go on the hunt to find new ways to serve this leafy green or purple vegetable. I did not have to go far since a number of my girlfriends began showing up with homemade kale chips. When I enquired about these chips, they all agreed that the key to success was slow heat and patience.
I decided to try my own hand at making fresh kale chips and so here it is….It is very simple as long as you keep an eye on it!
1. Spread cleaned Kale leaves on a baking tray and brush with olive oil. It is best to remove the tough stem running up the leaf. Liberally sprinkle with sea salt.
2. Bake in a 325F/175C oven for 20-30 mins. Check on a regular basis to be sure it is not burning.
3. Remove from oven and let cool.
et voila….the recipe is done! You can add a flavoured sea salt at this point, if there is not enough salt.