sandwiches & toast

Sometimes you just need a really solid sandwich with a generous side of chips. These kale pesto chicken sandwiches with baked chips are just that – satisfying and delightful and sure to hit the spot. The kale pesto makes them (at least seem) somewhat virtuous, and asparagus, broccoli rabe, and arugula add extra green. Poaching, then shredding, the chicken allows the pesto to soak into every nook and cranny and baking the potatoes creates a crisp chip without the copious amounts of grease that deep-frying requires. Kale pesto chicken sandwiches with baked chips are a well-balanced summer meal. I personally love to enjoy them open-faced, but feel free to top them off with another slice of sourdough bread.

serves 4


for the kale pesto

  • 1 cups kale
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted*
  • 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper 

for the chips

  • 1 ¼ pounds potatoes (yukon gold or russet both work!)
  • 2 tablespoons baking soda
  • 4 cups water
  • Ice cubes
  • 4 tablespoons avocado oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt 
  • 4 ounces pancetta, diced

for the chicken

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

for the greens + assembly

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 bunch broccoli rabe
  • 1 loaf fresh bread (preferably sourdough), sliced ½-inch thick
  • 4 tablespoons aioli, divided
  • 1 cup arugula

*NOTE: if you don’t have pine nuts, walnuts or almonds work just fine, but do change the taste of the pesto.

kale pesto steps

Place the kale, salt, and pepper in a food processor, and blend for about 2 minutes until finely chopped. Add the pine nuts and pulse. Add the parmesan cheese and pulse more, then slowly add the olive oil, one tablespoon at a time until all the ingredients are combined and the pesto is smooth. Alternatively, you can do this by hand using a mortar and pestle. You can make this ahead and store it in a sealed jar for up to one week.

chips steps

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Using a mandoline or very sharp knife, thinly cut the potatoes and transfer them to a bowl with the baking soda, water, and ice. Let the potatoes soak while the oven heats, about 20 minutes, then drain them and dry them with a paper towel. Meanwhile, render the pancetta in a skillet over medium-high heat. Remove the meat from the skillet and reserve for later in the chicken. Arrange the potatoes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and drizzle with the rendered pancetta fat and avocado oil. Bake until golden and crispy, about 30 minutes. Remove the potatoes from the oven and immediately sprinkle them with salt. 

chicken steps

Place the chicken breasts in a large saucepan and cover with 2-3 inches of water. Bring to a boil and cook for 20 minutes then let sit for 5 minutes. Drain out the water, move the chicken to a plate or large bowl and using two forks, shred it. Mix in the pesto and the pancetta from earlier until it is evenly combined.

greens steps

Bring a pot of water to a boil. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and add the olive oil and sliced garlic. Cook for about 4 minutes until softened. Meanwhile, Place the trimmed asparagus and broccoli rabe in a colander in the sink and pour the boiling water over it to blanch it. Immediately transfer to the skillet and cook for another 7 minutes until soft.

assembly steps

Lay out slices of bread and spread equal amounts of aioli on top. Place equal amounts of arugula on top of the bread slices then top with the pesto shredded chicken. Add the cooked broccoli rabe and season with salt and pepper. 

I firmly believe that pigs in blankets are one of the greatest crowd pleasers. As a compact finger food and all, they are suitable for guests of any age and can be enjoyed in nearly any setting. I have many childhood memories of Pillsbury crescent rolls appearing at gatherings. Sourdough ham and cheese crescents are essentially a pigs-in-blankets-inspired sandwich. They are built around a naturally leavened dough that is enriched with sour cream for tang and brown sugar for sweetness. During a long rest period of 14-16 hours, the dough develops a deep flavor and elasticity. This dough subsequently envelops the salty ham and buttery manchego, making sourdough ham and cheese crescents a perfectly portable party food.


for the dough

  • 120g / 1 cup sourdough starter
  • 200g / ¾ cup sourcream
  • 1 egg
  • 70g / ⅓ cup brown sugar
  • 10g salt
  • 120g / 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 120g / 1 cup white whole-wheat flour

for the filling and assembly

  • 8 ounces ham, sliced
  • 4 ounces manchego cheese, sliced

dough steps

Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl and pinch and squeeze the dough to work the ingredients together until all is incorporated. Wet your hands and stretch the dough up and fold it in half over itself. Turn the bowl clockwise 90° and stretch and fold it once again. Turn the bowl twice more, each time 90° and stretch and fold each time, for a total of four stretches and folds. Then let the dough sit for 30 minutes. Repeat the stretch, fold, rotate, and rest sequence for a total of 6 times, over the course of 2 and a half hours. Then cover the bowl with plastic wrap and a dish towel and let the dough sit until it has doubled and nearly tripled, about 14-16 hours at room temperature.

filling and assembly steps

After the dough has rested, transfer it to a floured surface and roll it out into a 12 inch x 24 inch rectangle. Cut the dough in half vertically then in half horizontally to make four pieces, then cut each of the four pieces in half to create eight pieces. Cut each piece diagonally to yield 16 triangles. Place a few slices of ham and a few slices of cheese in the center of each triangle. Fold one corner over the center of the crescent then continue to roll it up.

Repeat with all 16 crescents, place them on a baking sheet, and let them rise for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°F.

Bake the crescents for 25 minutes until puffed up and lightly golden!

It seems like everything finds its way onto toast these days, and that is something to celebrate. I love mixing and matching different flavor combinations and toppings, and that is what I did here with this fig and labneh toast with arugula, caramelized onion, and pine nuts. 

I used dried figs because it is most definitely not fig season right now and the dried fruit adds an additional texture to the fig and labneh toast. The dried fig and caramelized red onion complement each other in a sweet and savory vibe layered on the tangy labneh and finished with peppery arugula and fragrant pine nuts. Feel free to toast your bread in batches in the toaster, but I find it is easiest to toast all of the slices at once on a sheet pan. Up to you! This fig and labneh toast with arugula, caramelized onion, and pine nuts can be served as a delicious appetizer or a full meal!


  • 4 slices sourdough bread, cut ⅓-inch thick and halved
  • 1 medium red onion, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup labneh
  • 1 cup arugula
  • ½ cup dried figs, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted


Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lay the slices of bread on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and toast for 4 minutes, flip then toast for another 4 minutes.

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat and all the onion, salt, and pepper. Cook for 7 minutes, stirring occasionally to redistribute the onions over the heat, until they become caramelized.

Working with one slice at a time, spread a thin layer of labneh over the bread then immediately top with arugula, dried figs, and a few pine nuts. Repeat until all of the slices have been dressed.