Kale, Grilled Garlic and Cheddar Grilled Cheese

INGREDIENTS:

Grilled Garlic:

  • 1 head garlic
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Dash coarse salt

 

Sautéed Kale:

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced (or sweet onion or you can use your chives)
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 pound kale, rinsed, stems removed and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • Coarse salt

 

Panini:

  • 4 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 8 slices rustic white bread, sliced from a bakery loaf
  • 4 oz sharp cheddar cheese, sliced

DIRECTIONS:

Heat the panini maker to medium-high heat. Peel away the outer skin from the head of garlic, keeping the individual cloves intact. Slice off 1/4-inch from the top of the garlic, exposing the cloves. Lay the garlic on a piece of aluminum foil large enough to wrap it. Drizzle the cut side with olive oil and season it with salt. Wrap the garlic in the foil. Place the cut side down on the grill and grill the garlic until the cloves are very soft and tender, about 30 minutes. Once they’re cool enough to touch, squeeze the roasted garlic cloves out of their skins. Keep the Panini maker on.

In the meantime, prepare the kale. Heat the olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and cook them, stirring, until they’re tender and fragrant, about a minute. Add the red pepper flakes and the kale and carefully toss the kale to coat it in the oil. Pour in the water. Cover the pot, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook the kale for another 10 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat, stir in the vinegar and season the kale with salt to taste.

For each sandwich: Spread butter on two slices of bread to flavor the outside of the sandwich. Flip over one slice of bread and use a butter knife to spread 1/4 of the soft cloves of roasted garlic on the other side. Top the garlic with sautéed kale and cheese. Close the sandwich with the other slice of bread, buttered side up. Grill the Panini, two at a time, until the cheese is melted and the bread is toasted, 4 to 5 minutes.

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