Grilled Goat Cheese and Kale Sandwich

Goat cheese and Kale sandwich
This is my husband's new favorite sandwich, which is kind of surprising given that his culinary go-to is a hot dog with a slice of melted american cheese rolled in white toast (tasty, but quite different, yes?). This sandwich has warm, tangy goat cheese, earthy kale and zippy lemon zest. The combination makes for a delicious grilled cheese sandwich.

There are several varieties of kale, and all are good this time of year, but I like Lacinato because the stems and leaves are tender and it's very pleasant raw, not to mention the fact that it's a nutritional powerhouse.  Lacinato is also delicious in salads that have a punchy vinaigrette.

Grilled Goat Cheese and Kale Sandwich

Serves 2

4 slices sourdough or other rustic, crusty bread
4 ounces goat cheese
2 tablespoons red onion* (optional)
4 stems Lacinato kale
1 teaspoon lemon zest (from one lemon)
Kosher salt
Olive oil

*The raw onion is fairly assertive, so leave it out if you don't fancy the taste.

1. Dice onion. Trim bottom inch or so from kale, roll into a cigar shape and slice into ribbons. Zest lemon using Microplane or smallest holes on grater.

2. Brush inside of bread with olive oil. Spread goat cheese on one side. Sprinkle on lemon zest, onions (if using) and salt. Pile on kale (it will shrink quite a bit when heated). Top with other slice of bread.

3. Heat heavy skillet (cast-iron is best) over medium-high heat until hot and add olive oil (enough so your sandwich will sizzle when it hits the pan...a few teaspoons). When oil is hot, add sandwich and weigh it down with a heavy pan or a filled water kettle. After a few minutes (check to see if underside is golden brown), lift it up with a spatula, add another bit of olive oil and flip it over. Cook for a few more minutes (you may need to turn down the heat if it's gotten too hot), cut and serve.

Lacinato kale, also called "Dinosaur" or "Tuscan" kale


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