Kale Sandwich
30 Min

Kale Sandwich

Kale, among other greens, was cultivated during medieval times in Greece and Rome but by the Middle Ages, it has spread through Asia and Europe. Over time, it lost its luster and when I first arrived in Canada during the eighties, I would see it lining flower beds. I still see it gardens around the city but today, kale has become the darling of foodies and chefs and while I’ve made my share of kale salads, seldom had I encountered a more delicious iteration of kale than in a sandwich a few years ago. The kale sandwich was offered at the tiny O café near west village in New York City, a place owned by a Brazilian ceramic artist/chef known for fierce local sourcing and carefully curated ingredients. My daughter Ajna worked there for a short time, and it was one of our favorite things to share. It had a traditional tapenade lathered on one side of good sourdough bread and a thick slab of goat cheese on the other. In the middle was a big layer of minced, marinated or more like massaged kale. It always tasted wholesome and satisfying but also like biting into a salad within a sandwich. 

Seeing the bounty of kale among almost all the farms around Houston and knowing that kale is much more nutrient and fiber dense than other greens, especially local kale, I decided to go on a journey to find new ways to eat kale. The olive spread is inspired by tapenade and despite having no anchovies, it packs intense flavor from the fresh parsley and serrano pepper. The recipe will make more olive spread than you will need for sandwiches, but it is a tasty condiment to have around. It’s a wonderful sandwich to take on a picnic or a park so do give it a try! 

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Cook Time

30 minutes + refrigeration time



Step 1
Discard the bottom 4 inches of the kale and mince the rest of it, along with the stems. Marinate with olive oil, lemon, honey, black pepper, and salt. Rub the marinade into the kale with your fingers to spread it evenly. Refrigerate the kale for 30 minutes to an hour. When ready to use the kale, taste it. It may need more lemon juice or salt.
Step 2
To make the olive spread, use either a food processor or a blender. First add the olives with pickling juice, lemon juice and olive oil into the bottom of the blender bowl. Start mixing, then add the garlic, serrano, and parsley. Mix until the spread is smooth – drizzle a little more olive oil on top if needed. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Step 3
To build the sandwich, warm the slices of bread in an oven or in a toaster. Generously slather the goat cheese on one side and the olive spread on the other. Stuff the marinated kale in between and get as much as you can in there without any falling out. Slice and enjoy!

8 slices of sourdough

8 ounces goat or feta cheese

1 large bunch of kale

3 tablespoons olive oil

Juice of 2 lemons

2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup

1 teaspoon black pepper

3/4 teaspoon salt

Olive spread:

1 cup pitted pickled green olives

Juice of 2 lemons

1/2 cup olive oil

1/4 cup olive pickling juice

4 to 5 large cloves of garlic

1 serrano pepper

1 bunch flat leaf parsley, bottom stems discarded

Notes & Variations

  • The kale sandwich will taste good room temperature or warm.
  • The olive spread should not need any salt since the olives and the juice are usually quite salty but taste and adjust.
  • Sliced tomatoes, sliced boiled egg or roasted chicken makes a delicious addition to the sandwich.
30 Min

Leftover kale?

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