It was to be a day of confusion, of opposites if you will. Although the beautiful, mild day demanded that the grill be smoking like the wispy, ribbonlike streams of a newfound genie lamp, the backyard environs would not offer the familiar aroma of pork, beef, chicken, or combination thereof. No, today we are satisfying that part of us that quietly, yet persistently insists we eat some sort of greens, for our health, you know. But hey, they can still be grilled to get that all important required dose of infused smokiness and backyard pit mastering.
With that in mind, we have a Tale About Kale.
My first recollections of Kale, if I squint and think really hard, is that of seeing it as the decoration on the old salad bars.
It could be purchased on the cheap, and discarded after all those healthy eaters were done spilling ranch dressing, shredded cheese, diced ham and sunflower seeds all over it. I don’t really know how or why it was first tasted, but I can speculate that it may have been a lost bet or a straight up dare.
No matter the whys and hows, though, because today, under the category of “Everybody’s doin’ it”, I decided to do it too.
First things first, and by that I mean go ahead and tear the kale into small, random pieces from the main stem of the leaf, and spread it out on a large tray.
Simply drizzle with olive oil, or spray with your favorite flavored cooking spray.
Take what you consider your favorite rub or seasoning. You’ve got a favorite. I know you do. It’s your go-to flavor enhancer. Just go ahead and get it. No one will judge you. Not yet anyway. It’s time to get personal here. I used a sweet and spicy rub that generally is put on pork, but other combos like cracked black pepper and sea salt work wonders too. Ranch, lemon-pepper, garlic. Heck, any flavor will do with Kale. It’s easy to get along with. Season the kale by sprinkling the flavoring on it. The oil/cooking spray should help the seasoning stick.
With an indirect grill and medium high heat, arrange the kale on the grill. You can put it directly on the grill, or use an aluminum vented pan as shown, more for convenience than for functionality. User preference here, and both methods work. The pan will take a few minutes longer, as you can imagine, but taste and quality are not affected by one over the other.
Close the lid and let the roasting begin. After 6 – 8 minutes, rotate the pan, or toss the leaves around on the grill for even cooking.
You will start to notice the “shrinkage” taking place. The Kale will end up being about half the volume that you started with, and if you factor in the griller samples, and a few more samples, well…All I’m sayin’ is “Plan accordingly”.
This whole process will take 12 – 16 minutes, and you will know when the kale is done by the crispy texture and feel when checking on it. Pull it off the grill, pour in a serving bowl, and serve like an appetizer, or keep it all to yourself like your favorite bowl of chips with a frosty pit master beverage. Light, crispy, delicious, and kinda fun to eat, with a definite barbecue chip flavor, and if you have the grill fired up anyway…
Life Is Better Wood Fired.