As a fan of crisp-roasted kale, I’m always experimenting with ways to season and use the deliciously crunchy leaves. Recently I’ve been seasoning them with a smoky mixture, giving the kale a bacon-esque flavor. They were especially good layered in the Tofu Benedict with Sun-Dried Tomato Hollandaise I made last weekend.
In the same way that I enjoy using fried dulse leaves as a bacon alternative in BLTs (see my Avocado, Dulse, Lettuce, and Tomato Sandwiches recipe in Quick-Fix Vegan), I reasoned that crispy kale “bacon” would also be ideal in the iconic sandwich.
I especially like the addition of avocado in a BLT. When made with kale, I suppose we could call the sandwich a TALK — for: Tomato, Avocado, Lettuce, and Kale. I made my TALK sandwich as a wrap and added a ribbon of vegan mayo and sriracha. At the risk of making a bad pun, this wrap was the “TALK of the town!” (groan…)
Here’s the recipe I used for the crispy kale bacon. I’m still tinkering with this recipe – the smoky flavor is fairly mild, so I’m working on ways to amp it up a bit. But it’s still pretty good as is. If you like kale chips, then you’ll like this!
Crispy Kale Bacon
1 bunch kale, stemmed and cut into strips
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1 1/2 teaspoons liquid smoke
1/2 teaspoon light brown sugar or agave
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly oil a baking sheet or spray it with cooking spray. In a large bowl, combine the kale, sesame oil, liquid smoke, and sugar, tossing to coat the kale. Sprinkle lightly with smoked paprika and salt and toss again.
Arrange the kale in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 12 minutes, then turn the kale over and bake until crisp but not burned, about 10 minutes longer. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool completely.
IN OTHER NEWS: If you don’t follow me on Facebook or Twitter, then you may not know that Gary had endoscopic surgery last week to remove a hairball. He’s doing great now. I also want to thank all of you who expressed your care and concern during this ordeal. Gary and I are extremely grateful and touched to know that so many people care. Your good wishes helped make a tough week a bit easier.