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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.


Read the full recipe after the video.

Recipe Summary

25 mins
10 mins
50 mins
15 mins
4 sandwiches


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


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.

  • 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