American

Peanut Butter & Greens Sandwich

April 10, 2020
Photo by Cara Howe
Author Notes

This may sound like a strange combination if your first association with “peanut butter” is “jelly”—but focus on the peanut’s savory side, and it makes perfect sense (if you avoid eating peanuts, almond butter makes an excellent substitute). I like this sandwich best with a soft wheat bread and when the marinated greens have some bitterness. The scallion cuts the richness of the peanut butter just a bit, but if you don’t like raw allium, omit it.

On the marinated greens: Pre-cooking greens is a terrific way to extend their shelf life—once they’re cooked, they’ll be edible for up to a week, which is several days more than what you typically get from raw greens. It’s also a way to frontload the labor of cleaning and cooking them so that they can be more easily put to use in omelets, sandwiches, pasta, and more. And marinating them—that is, seasoning them—gets you that much closer to a tasty meal when din- nertime rolls around. I prefer to use a variety of greens here, but if you only have one type on hand, don’t sweat it. And for a neutral flavor profile, leave out the garlic, pepper flakes, and lemon, and season only with olive oil, salt, and pepper.

From the book START SIMPLE by Lukas Volger. Copyright © 2020 by Lukas Volger. Published on February 18, 2020 by Harper Wave, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. Reprinted by permission. Photos by Cara Howe. —LukasVolger

  • Prep time 15 minutes
  • Cook time 15 minutes
  • Serves 1 (with leftover greens)
Ingredients
  • Peanut Butter & Greens Sandwich
  • 2 slices sandwich bread
  • 3 tablespoons natural peanut butter
  • 1 pinch salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/4 cup marinated greens (recipe below)
  • 1 scallion, lights green and white parts, thinly sliced
  • 1 splash fresh lemon juice, plus more to taste
  • 1 splash sriracha, plus more to taste
  • 1 splash olive oil (or 1 pat butter)
  • 1 pinch flaky salt, for garnishing (see note below)
  • Marinated Greens
  • 2 bunches (about 1 1⁄2 pounds) leafy greens: Swiss chard, kale, mature spinach, beet greens, or a combination of any of the above, washed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes, plus more to taste
  • 1 pinch salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 splash lemon juice, plus more to taste
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. Peanut Butter & Greens Sandwich
  2. Spread one side of both the slices of bread with peanut butter and, depending on the saltiness of the peanut butter, sprinkle with salt to taste. Spread the marinated greens over one slice and top with the scallion, a squeeze of lemon juice, and sriracha to taste. Close the sandwich.
  3. Place a skillet over medium heat. When hot, pour in a thin film of olive oil or melt a pat of butter in it. Place the sandwich top-side down and cook until golden brown, about 3 minutes, pressing down gently if needed so that it begins to brown. Add a bit more olive oil or butter if the pan looks dry, then flip and repeat. Sprinkle the sandwich with a pinch of flaky salt, slice in half, and serve immediately.
  4. Note: Adding a pinch of flaky finishing salt to the top of your sandwich isn’t the most intuitive thing to do—especially since the seared bread already has some crunch. But I’ve been doing this ever since I saw it done at a cafe for a grilled cheese sandwich I ordered. The little savory, brittle bursts are totally delectable and have a way of elevating the sandwich into something special.
  1. Marinated Greens
  2. Trim off and discard the tough stems from the greens. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a wide skillet or saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and stir for about 1 minute, until fragrant. Pile in the greens, in batches if necessary, and add a splash of water (you can also cover with a lid to compress them). Add a big pinch of salt and gently cook, stirring with tongs, until wilted and tender. Cooking times will vary depending on type of green, so watch and taste as you go. If cooking a combination of different greens, cook each type separately. Add a splash of water to the pan if it dries out.
  3. Transfer to a colander to drain and cool until safe to handle. Gently squeeze out excess liquid using your hands or a spatula or wooden spoon, pressing against the side of the colander. Coarsely chop the greens, then transfer them to a medium bowl and toss with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and a few drops of lemon juice. Taste and add more lemon juice, red pepper flakes, or salt as needed. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator; allow to come to room temperature before serving.

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I'm the author of BOWL and 2 other cookbooks, founder of the Made by Lukas line of fresh veggie burgers, and editorial director of Jarry.