On the Catwalk: The Kinky Kale


Strutting its stuff on the catwalk this week is the Kinky Kale. A food that has become hip even with McDonald's jumping on the kale bandwagon . Did you know they tested kale breakfast bowls in nine California locations in 2015? Kale is in season now and is the perfect way to satisfy you afternoon winter cravings. Try Duncans Spicy Kinky Kale Crisps recipe.


Kinky Kale

If you had asked food writers to predict the hippest ingredient this decade it would have been unlikely that they would have said Kale. Curly kale was one of the most popular vegetables in Europe before its star waned at the end of the middle ages. It enjoyed a brief resurgence during the second world war as planting was encouraged as part of the Dig for Victory campaign. Partly as it was easy to grow and resistant to cold temperatures. Then if fell off the menu until it became hip it 2013 with celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow championing this healthy veg.

Kale can grow all year round in the UK but is at its best between September and February.


Ok, so they are super hip - but how do they taste?


The leaves are of the darkest bottle green and the taste is as robust as the veg itself – great with liver and bacon or a hearty lamb stew. Some people who are said to be 'super tasters' can find it to be bitter with a faintly ammoniac flavour which is why Duncans Spicy Kinky Kale crisps are a great way to go. They really hit the spot providing a crunchy snack with a delicious rich flavour in the depths of winter.


Duncan's Five Favourite things about Kale


  • How it became hip - A quick Google search about the popularity of kale reveals the name Oberon Sinclair, founder of My Young Auntie PR in New York City. Her client list is impressive including Hermès, Vivienne Westwood, and Jack Spade. Sinclair reports that she was hired by the American Kale Association (AKA) in 2013 to make kale cool. When I tried to find out who the American Kale Association was I went round in circles. In the end I found out it is Oberon Sinclair herself! She didn't think people would have been as interested if a PR firm had been behind it!

  • It is full of absorbable calcium. A serving of kale has more absorbable calcium than a small carton of milk. It is also high in Vitamin C - a cup of raw kale contains even more vitamin C than a whole orange.

  • The vast variety of Kale that there is: acinato, redbor, Gulag Stars, True Siberian, Red Russian, White Russian, Dwarf Blue Vates, Red Nagoya, Chinese Kale, Sea Kale and the 6-foot-tall Walking Stick Kale. So many to try.

  • It is a member of the cruciferous vegetable family which includes cold-tolerant plants like Brussels Sprouts, cabbage and turnips. It is a great veg to have available in the depths of winter as you can do so much with it - whiz it up for smoothies, toss it into a salad, bake it, roast it and even make a cocktail - Kalejito anyone?

  • The crop that keeps giving. You can grow yourself some sturdy plants by autumn, and they stand there, proud as you like, till they run to seed in spring. By that time you'll have had multiple winter harvests from them.



Duncan was inspired by his love of seasonal veg and our weekly organic box from Jack's Veg. He wanted to experiment with simple ways to cook this wonderful veg that wasn't whizzing it up in a blender to make a smoothie or simply having it as a side with lashings of butter. I am always delighted to come home and find fresh Kale Crisps out as he experiments with different flavours.


Duncans' Spicy Kinky Kale Crisps


What you need to make it


-10 large kale leaves

2-3 tablespoons rape seed oil (you can use olive oil) -Chilli flakes

-Garlic Granules

- 1 tablespoon fine sea salt


How to make it


1. Pre-heat the oven to 150C ( some people bake them for less time at a high temperature but I prefer a longer baking time with no burnt pieces)

2. Separate the leaves and dry them well. Use a couple of tea towels to make sure they are super dry. Or a salad spinner. (Imogen suggested spinning them on the washing line - not sure about this).

3. Toss the Kale into a bowl and massage with rape seed oil. Really massage it all in - don't miss any nooks and crannies.

4. Add in chilli flakes and garlic granules - I love the fiery mix! I have made them with lime juice, miso paste and maple syrup dressing, as well as onion, garlic and nutritional yeast which gives it a nutty flavour. Experiment and try your own flavours. It is easy and quick to do and gets you to be inventive in the kitchen. 5. Pop them in the oven for 30 mins and move them around so you don't get some burnt leaves and soggy leaves. I also turn the trays halfway through (after 15 mins) when cooking.

6. Turn your oven off, take them out and use a metal spatula to detach the leaves from the trays. Taste them and see if you want more seasoning on them and then pop them back in the warm oven (which is off) for 15 mins before serving.


Serving Tips

  • Experiment with flavours! Why not try your own seasonings? Let me know what you choose

  • Get the kids involved making them this half term. It is a great way for them to get inventive in the kitchen

  • Pimp it up further with some cheese melted on top.

Now put your feet up and enjoy it. We love these on a cold winters day sat by the fire. It makes us feel healthy too.


Join our Facebook Group the Food Collective today and meet like-minded foodies and seasonal produce seekers in our collaborative fun space. It is the perfect space to share, ask for help, pick the brains of others and contribute your amazing ideas and recipes.








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