If you think substituting braised greens for the patty is crazy, you're not alone, because that's what I thought. Then I tried it and was treated to one of the best grilled cheese sandwiches of my life. Even if you never use these greens to make a grilled cheese sandwich, you should still master this recipe to serve as a side to meat, with pasta, or scrambled into some eggs. This stuff is just shockingly delicious. I served mine with radishes and cornichons.

Recipe Summary

prep:
15 mins
cook:
25 mins
additional:
10 mins
total:
50 mins
Servings:
4
Yield:
4 sandwiches
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Ingredients

4
Original recipe yields 4 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Remove tender, leafy parts of kale and mustard greens from their tough stems and place in a large bowl. Cover with cold water and wash greens, allowing dirt to sink to the bottom. Transfer greens into a colander or strainer to drain thoroughly.

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  • Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a rolling boil over high heat. Add drained kale and mustard greens, using a spatula to make sure they are immersed. Bring back to a boil; cook until barely tender and not soft, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and let cool until easily handled.

  • While greens are cooling, heat 3 tablespoons butter in a pan over medium heat. Saute garlic, green onions, and salt until they soften and turn translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in black pepper and cayenne.

  • Squeeze water from cooled greens and chop. Add greens to the pan and continue to cook and stir until just heated through, 2 to 3 minutes. Taste and adjust for seasoning. Remove from heat and stir in rice vinegar.

  • Heat about 2 tablespoons butter in a pan over medium-low heat. Add 2 slices French bread; place 1/4 of the Irish Cheddar cheese on top. Place about 1/2 cup of braised greens on 1 slice of bread; top with remaining bread slice, cheese side-down. Cook, flipping as needed, until surface is golden brown and crisp, cheese is melted, and greens are heated through, 2 to 3 minutes.

  • Repeat with remaining bread, cheese, and greens. Remove to a cutting board, slice in half at a slight angle, and serve.

Chef's Notes:

Swiss chard or escarole would also be lovely. You can also try this with spinach. You need enough greens to yield about 1 1/2 to 2 cups, once boiled and chopped.

You can use any cheese you want; for me, the perfect pairing with the greens is a nice sharp white Cheddar.

Using enough salt is the secret to making delicious greens; the salted water in which you boil the greens should taste like sea water.

A splash of regular vinegar with a pinch of sugar will work instead of seasoned rice vinegar.

Nutrition Facts

765 calories; protein 28.5g; carbohydrates 56.8g; fat 49.6g; cholesterol 135.1mg; sodium 1114.7mg. Full Nutrition
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Reviews (11)

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Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
04/13/2020
Fanciest grill cheese I ever made. The greens really are delicious. Read More
(1)
13 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 13
  • 4 star values: 0
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
04/08/2020
This is SERIOUSLY delicious. It’s not the kind of combination you expect to work well, but it comes out amazing. I didn’t have scallions so I subbed onions, and it turned out great. Read More
(1)
Rating: 5 stars
03/25/2020
Devoured by whole family, including the pickiest eater! Served with tomato soup. Unusually delicious, and so healthy. What more could we ask for? Thanks, Chef John! Read More
(1)
Rating: 5 stars
04/13/2020
Fanciest grill cheese I ever made. The greens really are delicious. Read More
(1)
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Rating: 5 stars
03/15/2020
Loved this grilled sandwich. It was so delicious and fulfilling and was definitely worth the extra time that it took to make. I used my homemade Sour Dough bread. I will make this sandwich over and over! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
04/03/2020
I definitely will be making it again. This sandwich is delicious I did however, change the bread I used sour dough, and and at first I couldn’t find the lacinato kale so I settled for regular kale and I was just going to mix that with the mustard greens and then I found lacinato or Dino kale at Whole Food Market so I just mixed all the greens together I also added shallots and bacon and I used Muenster cheese. Now that I have something to compare it with I will make the original but nonetheless mine was delicious even my 10 year old granddaughter loved it. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
03/16/2020
This is an amazing recipe!!!! Literally turned out just like the video, so few things do that in this day and age. We are vegetarians who don’t love kale etc but this hit the spot. The seasoned greens pair amazing with Kerry cheddar. Read More
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Rating: 5 stars
03/19/2020
Really good! Made with Kale and Swiss chard, rye bread and Munster cheese....what I had on hand. Whole family enjoyed. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
03/13/2020
Supper delicious and simple. Will be making over and over!! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
03/11/2020
Loved this recipe! The cayenne, rice vinegar, and sourdough all meshed extremely well. Will be one of my go to sandwiches. I did end up using the green parts of the onions though since 3/4 cup is a lot. It could have been the product that I got from my store, but a small bundle (7-8 onions) only yielded about 1/4 cup of whites/light greens. Some of the green parts of the onions got overcooked, but it still came out great! Read More