The Ultimate Green & Grain Free Sandwich with Kale Pesto and Manchego

Green & grain free sandwich with kale pesto - A tasty love story

One of my favourite veggies that I am so fortunate to be surrounded of this time a year is Kale. Everything about kale is amazing, it’s colour, texture, flavour, versatility, nutrient and fiber content – seriously what’s not to like. One of my favourite dishes with Kale is my personal Winter Christmas Salad I posted last year and when we are talking about kale I have to mention that they make most delicate and awesome Green Crisps. A new favourite of mine was made the other day when I had a huge bunch of kale that I needed to get creative with. Since I have been making quite a lot of lunch boxes lately I wanted to make something that would be great to incorporate in one of those. I have always been a sucker for dressing, creme fraiche, tapenade, cheese and pesto – anything that will bring flavour and creaminess to your meals. That is why I ended up creating a green and groovy pesto, loaded with both flavour, nutrients, fibers and healthy fat.
A pesto is great mixed into salads, with all kind of egg dishes, as dipping and as sandwich spread. Since the Pesto is very rich in both flavour and nutrients I think it is perfect just matched with a simply gorgeous cheese and a few slices of fresh and juicy tomatoes. You can easily add a few slices of egg or ham as well, here it’s simply your fridge that decides which direction you are heading for. You can use both rye bread, sourdough bread or any kind of bread you have on hands or prefer. I have been making this lovely focaccia bread a lot with all kinds of topping as olives, herbs, semi-dried tomatoes and seeds and it is great for tapas, for soups and for sandwiches. It is made with ground almond and seeds (grain free flours) and is rich from the cottage cheese and eggs. It is of course gluten free and grain free and I love how it keeps you full for hours and has minimum impact on your blood sugar. All in all I think this is the perfect sandwich that celebrates the wonderful kale and intense natural flavours from cheese, lemon, garlic, herbs, nuts and vegetables.

Green & grain free sandwich with kale pesto - A tasty love story

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The ultimate green and grain free Sandwich

Kale pesto
Makes about 2 cups (5 dl)

6 leaves, stems removed
75 g parsley
150 ml olive oil
0,5-1 tsp salt
A chunk of firm cheese, grated
4 cloves garlic
30 roasted almonds
Zest and juice from 1 organic lemon

Add kale in a foodprocessor and blend until finely chopped. Add parsley and blend until it has same texture as the kale. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until everything is evenly combined and has a semi chunky texture. Keep blending until it becomes smooth and creamy (this could take a while), or keep the chancy texture if your prefer. Season to taste.

Almond focaccia sandwich bread (adapted from this amazing book)
Makes 1 bread enough for 4 sandwiches

1 dl almonds (0,4 cups)
1 dl seeds (sunflower seeds, sesame seeds) (0,4 cups)
150 g cottage cheese
3 eggs
1 Tbsp melted butter
1 tsp baking powder
1 Tbsp psyllium husk
a pinch of salt

Fresh rosemary
Olive oil
Sea salt

Preheat oven to 175 °C /350 °F (no fan)
Ground almonds and seeds in a foodprocessor or high speed blender. Add the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth and evenly combined.
Pour the batter into a lined baking pan and bake for 10 min. Remove from the oven drizzle with oil, sea salt and gently press fresh rosemary stilks into the bread.
Place back in the oven and finish baking for approximately 20 min.

Add-ins for the sandwich
Slices of manchego
Fresh tomatoes

Make the sandwich
Slice the focaccia into four. If not fresh from the oven, slice it open and toast on both sides. Add 1-2 Tbsp of pesto, a few slices manchego and fresh tomatoes. Serve the sandwich straight away and enjoy!

Green & grain free sandwich with kale pesto - A tasty love story

  1. Maria TadicMaria Tadic11-20-2013

    This looks so yummy! And the focaccia looks amazing – can’t believe it’s grain free! Does that book have an English version?

    • Yeah I felt the same way the first time I tried it. The book is only published in danish and the author has a danish blog as well (, so you can write an ask if she will go international :)

  2. NannaNanna11-20-2013

    O M G ! ….

  3. YUM! Love the idea for the grain free focaccia, it looks so tasty too :)

  4. Mya LMya L11-21-2013

    Mmm! This is a must try! What size baking pan did you use?

    • It is around 8×8 inches (20×20 cm), but you can use different shapes and kinds depending on how flat or high a bread you want or if you want a round one, just adjust the baking time a bit to it :)

  5. Julianna C.Julianna C.11-21-2013

    This is a gorgeous, new pesto! I can’t wait to try it. I also am a great admirer of your photographs! Thanks for sharing this with us.

  6. ginagina11-21-2013

    Please could you tell me what a dl is?

  7. Anita GerdinAnita Gerdin11-21-2013

    This looks fantastic and I have all the ingredients at home so will definitely try it this weekend. however, I cannot eat dairy products (kow milk). Do you think I could use a substitute for the cottage cheese?

    • I would try using a dairy free thick yoghurt – but it is not something I have been experimenting with sorry.

  8. i have been looking for different focaccia and im in love with your version.

  9. MelanieMelanie11-25-2013

    Can you tell me how many gr 1 dl is? Or is 0.4 cup the same as 1/4 cup? :-)

    • 1 cup = 2,5 dl. or you could say 1 dl = 100 ml. I am sorry it is confusing, but it is a european measurement. It is close to 1/3 cup :)

      • MelanieMelanie11-26-2013

        Thanks a lot gonna make it today :-)

  10. JohannaJohanna11-27-2013

    Hei! Er det mulig å erstatte psyllium husk med noe annet hvis man ikke har denne ingrediensen?

    • Hejsa. Ja, du kan prøve at erstatte med 3-4 spsk malet hørfrø i stedet, eller chia, de kan bedre tåle opvarmning end hørfrø. Det er dig ikke noget jeg selv har eksperimenteret med :)

  11. The kale pesto looks interesting . Kale is such a great vegetable and wonderful in the mix of veggie & fruit juices I have been enjoying recently.

  12. Oh looks lovely!

  13. AnnaAnna02-09-2014

    Hi Josephine. Can you tell me how long the bread lasts for and how you store it? I adore your blog and thank you for sharing your beautiful recipes

    • Hi Anna. It last for around 5-6 days when you keep it in the fridge. But it is excellent for freezing as well :)

  14. Premshree PillaiPremshree Pillai02-15-2014

    Are the almonds blanched or do you grind whole almonds?

  15. MelissaMelissa05-28-2014

    I made this kale pesto over the weekend, and it was so delicious I ended up eating the entire jar!! I used Parmesan cheese. Wonderful recipe will be making it again!

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