Brunch, Cooking
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The BCKT (Bacon, Crispy Kale & Tomato Sandwich)


I have been in Toronto for almost a week and I have learned a few things. Happily this trip coincided with fiddlehead season, again, so that was a treat. And I now see that everyone in Toronto is even more obsessed with kale than they were before. Green kale, purple kale, cavolo nero, baby kale for salads and kale juices (offensive, sorry, I tried and it was like drinking bile. Might work with some apple?). There are kale cookbooks, the Indian restaurant I am sitting at right now in Toronto airport has a kale salad but with an Indian twist. It is endless, and that is good, infernal stomach rotting juice aside, for kale, generally, is a very good thing. Especially when crispy.

(Mmmmm, crispy!* Now there is a word that polarises as much as kale. But I like crispy, even if incorrect and so I shall keep using it).

So, you all know I love bacon. I mean who doesn’t, at least who doesn’t that doesn’t have religious objections to it? I have never heard of anyone trying bacon and declaring it a terrible thing. When you hear stories about bacon, it is almost always that people ate it when they shouldn’t, just because they could no longer resist. And how could they? So, when concocting recipes for my recent sandwich feature, I thought a BLT will have to be in there, but what if it was with a twist, that made it even better? And so the BCKT was born. That being the Bacon, Crispy Kale & Tomato Sandwich. OH YES.

This is really very simple. I crisp the kale for just about 5 minutes at a high heat in the oven, about 190 deg C. Before I put it in the oven, I wash it and dry it (a salad spinner or a gentle rub with kitchen paper will do the job), then I toss it in a small amount of light oil (groundnut or sunflower work well but extra virgin olive oil is good too if you want that flavour), a dusting of Spanish paprika and a touch of sea salt (the bacon is quite salty already, so not so much). Once it is crisped, I whip it out of the oven (it can burn very quickly so keep an eye on it)  and then add it to my sandwich.

The sandwich? I prefer sourdough, lightly toasted on the outside, but a white bloomer would work well too. Butter, mayonnaise, good juicy tomatoes, great bacon (of your choice), and as much crispy kale as I can fit in there. Sometimes a little hot sauce, like tabasco.

I think that is your weekend brunch sorted? Enjoy it!

* crispy, crispy, crispy, crispy. Just to aggravate the crisp people. CRISPY! ;)




  1. Oh HELLO. I have to try this. I thought I’d done most variations on the BLT, can’t believe I’ve never thought to try kale. So funny how a leafy green veg is having such a major moment. Well done to make it look good as well, sandwiches are such a bugger to photograph.

    • So hard to photograph sandwiches! All the good stuff is hidden. This is now a favourite. The slight bitter notes of the kale go so well with the juicy sweet tomatoes and sweet salty bacon :)

  2. Yes – I avoid photographing sandwiches, they are impossible! But that one looks good.
    The kale obsession is even worse out here, being the west coast. On April Fools, a digital agency sent press kits around for a new shop called ‘Brassica & Co’ that only had kale things. It was too funny.
    But I love crispy kale. And really, I don’t mind the word crispy. It conveys a texture at least!

  3. Goose says

    This I need to try. I once had a BLT in a glass (GBM winner Jason Atherton) at Maze, clever but I love BLTs so much that was always in my mind, the rest of the menu was erm Amazing. That was some years ago, my last Maze trip was OK but not as good as the first two visits (under Jason’s watch). The Kale idea is wonderfull.

  4. Haha! I giggled at this, Niamh, because I just mentioned in my last post about how my sister was a vegetarian for 7 years but then was ‘led astray’ by the smell of bacon cooking.
    I’ve actually never tried kale (yes, have been living under a kale-less rock), but love the sound of a crispy version. I can imagine that it tastes a bit like crispy seaweed. Lovely!

  5. I laughed at this so much – Kale is the new black! I learned of Kale chips a while ago from an american cousin – they seem obsessed by it over there….it is lovely when it’s crispy.

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