Did you see Sparky's sandwich mentioned this week in the Chicago Sun-Times?!! I'm a proud Mama, especially since this recipe is all his own! Here's a copy of the original post we wrote last fall:
Sometimes, what we eat is all about Sparky. He invented this sandwich with his Dad one afternoon, while I was out shopping - and it's pure genius if you love crispy/salty things the way all of us do.
I've mentioned before that I think homemade chips are a gateway vegetable, but I've been remiss in posting our favorite: kale chips. You make them pretty much like any other chip, but since I grow kale in my garden (a perfect vegetable if you don't have good sun and live where it snows, it will last well beyond the first frost) we eat them quite often. They are incredibly delicate, and shatter pleasantly in your mouth.
Because Sparky will someday go to college, I also wanted to try some microwave cooking - nowadays, even the most meager kitchen sports a microwave. This works surprisingly well for anything that is high in fat: kale chips work because they are coated in oil, and bacon works because it is made mostly of lard (delicious, delicious lard...)
3-4 slices bacon per sandwich
4-5 leaves of kale per sandwich (depending on the size and type)
Tomatoes (about a tomato per sandwich, depending on the size)
So, Sparky started with the bacon - we just spread it in a single layer over a couple thicknesses of paper towel spread over a microwave-safe plate. It takes about 3 minutes on high per slice, so it isn't really a timesaver, but you get delicious crispy, fully-rendered bacon - and there is slightly less washing-up.
Often, I use cooking spray to coat the leaves, but this time we just put it in a bowl, drizzled it with olive oil, and then rubbed each leaf until it was thoroughly coated. Again, it was spread on a microwave-safe plate in a single layer.
We alternated bacon with kale in the microwave, three minutes on high each time. I find that the kale is faster and crispier if you cook it in the microwave until it wilts, and then finish it in your toaster oven, but it works either way.
Then, all you have to do is slice and toast your bread, and thinly slice your tomatoes: we have some beautiful heirloom-style ones today. You can put mayo or avocado on the bread, but it's less necessary than with a BLT because of the oil on the kale chips.
Humble bread and tomatoes are elevated with the help of their crunchy, salty companions. Enjoy!