One of my favourite veggies that I am so fortunate to be surrounded of this time a year is Kale. Everything about kale is amazing, it’s colour, texture, flavour, versatility, nutrient and fiber content – seriously what’s not to like. One of my favourite dishes with Kale is my personal Winter Christmas Salad I posted last year and when we are talking about kale I have to mention that they make most delicate and awesome Green Crisps. A new favourite of mine was made the other day when I had a huge bunch of kale that I needed to get creative with. Since I have been making quite a lot of lunch boxes lately I wanted to make something that would be great to incorporate in one of those. I have always been a sucker for dressing, creme fraiche, tapenade, cheese and pesto – anything that will bring flavour and creaminess to your meals. That is why I ended up creating a green and groovy pesto, loaded with both flavour, nutrients, fibers and healthy fat.
A pesto is great mixed into salads, with all kind of egg dishes, as dipping and as sandwich spread. Since the Pesto is very rich in both flavour and nutrients I think it is perfect just matched with a simply gorgeous cheese and a few slices of fresh and juicy tomatoes. You can easily add a few slices of egg or ham as well, here it’s simply your fridge that decides which direction you are heading for. You can use both rye bread, sourdough bread or any kind of bread you have on hands or prefer. I have been making this lovely focaccia bread a lot with all kinds of topping as olives, herbs, semi-dried tomatoes and seeds and it is great for tapas, for soups and for sandwiches. It is made with ground almond and seeds (grain free flours) and is rich from the cottage cheese and eggs. It is of course gluten free and grain free and I love how it keeps you full for hours and has minimum impact on your blood sugar. All in all I think this is the perfect sandwich that celebrates the wonderful kale and intense natural flavours from cheese, lemon, garlic, herbs, nuts and vegetables.
The ultimate green and grain free Sandwich
Makes about 2 cups (5 dl)
6 leaves, stems removed
75 g parsley
150 ml olive oil
0,5-1 tsp salt
A chunk of firm cheese, grated
4 cloves garlic
30 roasted almonds
Zest and juice from 1 organic lemon
Add kale in a foodprocessor and blend until finely chopped. Add parsley and blend until it has same texture as the kale. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until everything is evenly combined and has a semi chunky texture. Keep blending until it becomes smooth and creamy (this could take a while), or keep the chancy texture if your prefer. Season to taste.
Almond focaccia sandwich bread (adapted from this amazing book)
Makes 1 bread enough for 4 sandwiches
1 dl almonds (0,4 cups)
1 dl seeds (sunflower seeds, sesame seeds) (0,4 cups)
150 g cottage cheese
1 Tbsp melted butter
1 tsp baking powder
1 Tbsp psyllium husk
a pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 175 °C /350 °F (no fan)
Ground almonds and seeds in a foodprocessor or high speed blender. Add the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth and evenly combined.
Pour the batter into a lined baking pan and bake for 10 min. Remove from the oven drizzle with oil, sea salt and gently press fresh rosemary stilks into the bread.
Place back in the oven and finish baking for approximately 20 min.
Add-ins for the sandwich
Slices of manchego
Make the sandwich
Slice the focaccia into four. If not fresh from the oven, slice it open and toast on both sides. Add 1-2 Tbsp of pesto, a few slices manchego and fresh tomatoes. Serve the sandwich straight away and enjoy!