Avocado and Marinated Kale Salad Sandwich

July 14, 2014
Photo by James Ransom
Author Notes

This is basically one of my favorite salads made into a sandwich—nothing fancier than that. The idea to put a kale salad into a sandwich came from Canto 6, my favorite bakery in my old neighborhood in Boston. —fiveandspice

Test Kitchen Notes

WHO: Fiveandspice is the co-founder of Vikre Distillery and a longtime Food52 contributor.
WHAT: A kale salad, in a sandwich.
HOW: Allow kale and shallots to marinate in lemon juice, then toss them together with sliced radishes, Parmesan, and olive oil. Smear the bread with lemon-basil aioli and an avocado, and pile the salad between the two slices.
WHY WE LOVE IT: There's more to this sandwich than just bright, nearly-spring flavors—the lemony and garlicky aioli, creamy avocado, and earthy and robust kale are a symphony of textures between chewy, fresh bread. —The Editors

  • Prep time 1 hour
  • Makes 3 to 4 sandwiches
  • For the avocado and kale sandwiches:
  • 1 bunch lacinato kale, stemmed and shredded or very finely chopped
  • 1 small shallot, peeled and sliced very thinly (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3 smallish radishes, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup good aged Parmesan or Grana Padano, crumbled or shredded
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pinch salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 1/4 cup lemon-basil aioli (see below)
  • 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
  • 1/2 cup (approximately) neutral-flavored oil
  • 3 to 4 large basil leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 pinch salt and pepper, to taste
In This Recipe
  1. For the avocado and kale sandwiches:
  2. Toss the shredded kale with 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice and a pinch of salt. Squeeze everything together with your hands several times to start to gently soften the kale's toughness. Set aside.
  3. 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.
  4. For each sandwich, spread a toasted roll generously with lemon-basil aioli on one half. 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. Simple!
  1. For the lemon-basil aioli:
  2. Whisk together the lemon juice, zest, egg yolk, and garlic. Whisk in the oil very slowly; start with one drop at a time and work 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 2/3 cup of store bought mayo and it'll still be really good).

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I like to say I'm a lazy iron chef (I just cook with what I have around), renegade nutritionist, food policy wonk, and inveterate butter and cream enthusiast! My husband and I own a craft distillery in Northern Minnesota called Vikre Distillery (www.vikredistillery.com), where I claimed the title, "arbiter of taste." I also have a doctorate in food policy, for which I studied the changes in diet and health of new immigrants after they come to the United States. I myself am a Norwegian-American dual citizen. So I have a lot of Scandinavian pride, which especially shines through in my cooking on special holidays. Beyond loving all facets of food, I'm a Renaissance woman (translation: bad at focusing), dabbling in a variety of artistic and scientific endeavors.