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Course: Mains
Keyword: grilled sandwich

Grilled Ciabatta with Kale Soppressata and Cheese

ACTIVE TIME: 20 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 40 minutes
Photo by Lynne Calamia
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  • 8-inch ciabatta loaf, cut in half lengthwise
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 6 large dinosaur/lacinato kale leaves
  • 1/4 cup basil pesto
  • 6 ounces soft ripened cheese (such as robiola or Camembert)
  • 3 ounces soppressata, thinly sliced
  • 1 large beefsteak tomato, thinly sliced
  • Fresh black pepper, to taste

Specialized Hardware

Charcoal or gas grill
Heavy-duty aluminum foil
ACTIVE TIME: 20 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 40 minutes


  • Prepare a charcoal or gas grill for bi-level cooking, so that there is medium-high direct heat available on one side, and indirect on the other. (See note.)
  • Coat the cut sides of the bread with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and season with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Grill directly over the coals, cut-side down for 1-2 minutes, or until nicely charred.
  • Meanwhile, place the kale leaves on an 18' x 24' piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil, brush with the remaining oil, and season with 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. Pile to one side of the foil.
  • When pleasantly charred, move the bread to the foil and grill the kale for 2-3 minutes, turning frequently, until slightly charred. Remove to a cutting board and when cool enough to handle, cut out the stems with a paring knife.
  • Spread the pesto evenly on the cut sides of the bread, then smear the cheese onto the bottom piece of the bread. Evenly shingle on the soppressata, kale, then the tomatoes. Season with the remaining salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Complete the sandwich with the top piece of bread and tightly wrap in foil.
  • Move the foil packet to the cooler side of the grill, close the lid and cook for 10 minutes. Carefully remove to a cutting board and rest for at least 5 minutes before unwrapping, slicing, and serving.
Serves 2 as a main, 4 as a snack, or 6 if you're stingy.
Note: Recipes often refer to setting up a grill for "indirect cooking," since all the radiant heat in a grill is direct, regardless of where the food is positioned, I think of this as bi-level cooking. When I do this on my PK grill, or on a standard Weber kettle, I light two quarts of charcoal in a chimney starter, then, when fully ablaze, I distribute it all on one side of the grill. Obviously, that's the "high heat" side while the grill area furthest from the coals is the "low heat" side. Of course, how you set the air flow on your particular grill will affect the actual results. Grills are spooky that way.
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