In an effort to share more of our very most every day meals, the ones I throw together with whatever’s left in the fridge, or the staples I can make with my eyes half closed at the end of a long day, I’ve started posting occasional short, simple posts just about these meals. I call it vær så god, Norwegian for “bon appetit.”
Hey hey! How are you all doing? We’re doing well around here, flailing our way through running a new business and trying to go to the beach to play in the sand and splash in the water with the baby every chance we get. It’s keeping us busy and happy. I woke up this morning (or to be more specific, I was awoken this morning by a baby standing in his crib talking loudly to his mobile and acting very ready to start the day) and it was still dark out and the air felt like fall. And that is mildly panic inducing. I haven’t been very good of keeping track of what day of the week it is, or even what month it is, lately, but I thought I had at least managed to stay on top of what season it was. Fall has a way of creeping in and surprising me every year though. Especially because it has a tendency to pay a few brief visits in August, but then leave again to give us a few more hot lazy weeks of Indian Summer before finally returning to stay.
But anyway, I’ve entered my yearly August ritual of clinging to summer and gorging on berries and peaches (peach-bourbon slushies people!!! You must give it a try!). And I have a fantastic raspberry tart recipe (gluten free!) and raspberry cocktail recipe I fully intended to share with you today. Except, I just keep craving this sandwich so much, I want to eat it every day. And I thought, hmm, maybe that’s a sign it’s worth sharing. So, I’ll be back soon with a tart and a cocktail, but for now I’m going to share an easy, fast, healthy sandwich recipe that’s based on a salad that’s become a favorite of mine (and in fact, you can make the kale salad, toss it with avocado, and then top it with a fried egg, instead of stuffing it into a sandwich and you’ll have another great meal option). It’s equal parts chewy, and leafy, and tangy, and creamy and all around surprisingly wonderful. So, there you have it, and here you go!
Vær så god!
- FOR THE SANDWICHES:
- 1 bunch of lacinto kale, stemmed and shredded or very finely chopped
- 1 small shallot, peeled and sliced very thinly (about 1 Tbs.)
- 1½ tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 3 smallish radishes, thinly sliced
- ¼ cup good aged Parmesan or Grana Padano, crumbled or shredded
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 ripe avocados
- 3 or 4 ciabatta-ish rolls, sliced in half and toasted
- FOR THE LEMON-BASIL AIOLI:
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 small garlic clove, chopped to a paste
- ½ cup (approximately) neutral flavored oil
- 3-4 large basil leaves, finely chopped
- salt and pepper
- Toss the shredded kale with 1 Tbs. of the lemon juice and a pinch of salt. Squeeze everything with your hands several times to gently start to soften the kale's toughness. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, toss the sliced shallot with the remaining lemon juice and set aside. Let both the kale and the shallot marinate for at least 30 minutes. Then, toss them together along with the sliced radishes, cheese, olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.
- For each sandwich, spread a toasted roll generously with lemon-basil aioli on one half (see below for how to make the aioli). Smash half of an avocado on the other half and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Pile on some kale salad, close the sandwich and eat.
- To make the aioli: Whisk together the lemon juice, zest, egg yolk, and garlic. Whisk in the oil very slowly - starting one drop add a time and working up to a thin, steady stream as the mixture starts to thicken and emulsify. You can also whip everything together in a blender or food processor, but aioli made by hand has a better texture (and makes you feel more like a superstar). When enough oil is incorporated to reach your desired thickness you can stop adding it, and fold in the basil and salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate for at least an hour before using to allow the flavors to settle and develop. (*you can also just stir the lemon juice, zest, garlic, and basil into about ⅔ cup of store bought mayo and it'll be really good*).