doesn't really look like the fixings for a sandwich, does it? but this is not your everyday sandwich. it started with a desire to bite into a mouthful of sauteed winter greens. am i the only one who daydreams about still-crunchy, cooked greens? they are rich in every way…strong in body, full of flavour, versatile, and so, so good for you. i could have tossed all of these ingredients into a pasta or a risotto. but i just wanted to taste the greens and the fried yams in a bigger way (yes, fried. battered and fried yams. stay with me). and i pictured layers of the sauteed greens stacked up like corned beef on a deli sandwich. so why not try a winter vegetable sandwich? this is not some sneaky way of trying to push greens on you. in fact, in the end, the greens aren't the main ingredient.
nor is the fried yam. all of the ingredients stand out and contribute equally–including the mustard and sesame dressing which has this weird way of making the sandwich taste sort of meaty, when it drips down through the sprouts and mixes with the batter on the yams. battering and frying the yams gives the sandwich a nice crunch and of course, anything fried just tastes 7 times better instantly.
it may seem like a pretty involved recipe, perhaps, if you compare it to your everyday sandwich (which we agreed, above, this is not.) but although everything gets cooked separately, the actual time it takes to saute the shallots, stems and greens, and fry the yam is very short. the end result is a very hearty, warm, tasty, press-down-before-it'll-fit-in-your-mouth sandwich.
winter vegetable sandwich
1⁄2 bunch lacinato kale, bottom 2 inches of stems cut off, remaining leaves cut into 2-inch strips
1⁄2 bunch red chard, trimmed, stems removed and chopped finely, leaves cut into 2-inch strips
1 large (long and wide) yam, peeled, cut lengthwise into four 1-inch slices
1 cup, packed, sprouts, rinsed and drained
1 large shaollot, sliced into thin rounds
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil
4 soft kaiser buns, cut in half
2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 tbs peanut oil
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1⁄2 cup flour
1⁄2 cup panko crumbs, or other bread crumbs
1 large egg
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp dijon mustard
1 tsp sesame oil
lay out batter ingredients near stove, in 3 separate bowls. crack egg into the middle bowl and whisk with a fork. season both the flour and crumbs with a little salt and pepper.
fill a medium pan with water and bring to a boil. add yam slices and bring water back up to a boil. cook for 5-7 minutes until fork-tender, being careful not to overcook or the yams will fall apart during the dredging and frying process.
meanwhile, combine and whisk all of the dressing ingredients in a bowl, and taste. adjust salt and pepper as necessary. set aside.
remove yams from water and shock by either rinsing under very cold water for a minute or immersing in a bowl of ice water, to stop the cooking process. then lay yams on towels, blot excess water and allow them to dry.
add olive oil to a large saucepan and heat over medium heat. add shallots and chard stems and saute, stirring, for one minute. add the chard, kale, salt and pepper to the pan and continue to saute, stirring frequently until the greens turn bright green and reduce in size slightly, but do not allow them to completely wilt. transfer to a bowl and set aside.
to fry the yams, a non-stick pan might make life easier but any frying pan will do. (feel free to wipe out the pan used to saute greens in the step above.)
heat pan over medium-high heat and then add peanut oil.
working quickly (and using your hands or tongs), coat the yam slices completely in flour, then egg, and lastly the bread crumbs. lay coated yams carefully in a single layer in the heated oil. fry on one side for 2-3 minutes on until the underside is golden brown. then turn with tongs and repeat on other side.
meanwhile, toast kaisers and lay on cutting board or plates. layer bottom bun with sun-dried tomatoes. a heap of the greens mixture on top of tomatoes. next add fried yams and top with a large handful of sprouts. whisk dressing to combine if need and drizzle a generous teaspoon over the sprouts. cover with top kaiser bun and serve immediately with your favourite sandwich sides.