Porchetta-Style Sandwiches with Baby Kale Pesto & Marinated Cucumber Salad

Porchetta-Style Sandwiches

with Baby Kale Pesto & Marinated Cucumber Salad

Group Created with Sketch. 55 min
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500 Calories Or Less
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    2 Servings
  • icon-nutrition Created with Sketch. Est. 740 Cals/serving

Porchetta is pork done up the Italian way—traditionally seasoned with sage, rosemary, fennel seeds, garlic and lemon zest, then roasted to succulent perfection. On the streets of Rome, it’s often served in irresistible sandwiches. This simple adaptation includes crunchy ciabatta rolls slathered with a bright, fresh pesto—and, to counter the pork’s richness, a splash of the lemony marinade from our cucumber salad.

Porchetta is pork done up the Italian way—traditionally seasoned with sage, rosemary, fennel seeds, garlic and lemon zest, then roasted to succulent perfection. On the streets of Rome, it’s often served in irresistible sandwiches. This simple adaptation includes crunchy ciabatta rolls slathered with a bright, fresh pesto—and, to counter the pork’s richness, a splash of the lemony marinade from our cucumber salad.

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Sear & roast the pork:

1 Sear & roast the pork:


Preheat the oven to 450°F. Pat the pork dry with paper towels; season on all sides with salt, pepper, the spice blend and as much of the red pepper flakes as you’d like, depending on how spicy you’d like the dish to be. Rub the seasonings into the pork. In a medium pan, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the seasoned pork and cook, turning occasionally, 6 to 8 minutes, or until browned on all sides. Transfer the seared pork to a foil-lined sheet pan, leaving any browned bits (or fond) in the pan on the stove. Roast 18 to 20 minutes, or until cooked through. (An instant-read thermometer should register 145°F.) Remove from the oven and transfer to a cutting board, leaving the oven on. Let the roasted pork rest for at least 5 minutes.

Prepare the ingredients:

2 Prepare the ingredients:


While the pork sears, wash and dry the fresh produce. Using a peeler, remove the yellow rind of the lemon, avoiding the white pith; mince the rind to get 2 teaspoons of zest (or use a zester). Quarter and deseed the lemon. Peel and mince the garlic; using the flat side of your knife, smash until it resembles a paste (or use a zester). Place the garlic paste in a bowl with the juice of all 4 lemon wedges; season with salt. Large dice the cucumber. Pick the parsley leaves off the stems; discard the stems. Roughly chop the capers. Halve the rolls.

Cook & chop the kale:

3 Cook & chop the kale:


While the pork roasts, heat the pan of reserved fond on medium-high until hot. (If the pan seems dry, add 1 teaspoon of olive oil.) Add the kale; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until wilted. Add ½ cup of water and cook, stirring occasionally, 6 to 8 minutes, or until the water has cooked off. Transfer the cooked kale to a cutting board; finely chop.

Make the salad & pesto:

4 Make the salad & pesto:


While the pork continues to roast, in a large bowl, combine the cucumber, parsley and half the garlic-lemon mixture. Drizzle with olive oil; season with salt and pepper to taste. In a medium bowl, combine the chopped kale, cheese, capers, lemon zest and remaining garlic-lemon mixture. Slowly stir in enough olive oil to create a rough paste; season with salt and pepper to taste.

Toast the rolls:

5 Toast the rolls:


While the pork rests, place the rolls on a sheet pan, cut sides up. Drizzle with olive oil. Toast in the oven 4 to 6 minutes, or until the edges are lightly browned. Remove from the oven and divide between 2 dishes.

Finish & plate your dish:

6 Finish & plate your dish:


Find the lines of muscle (or grain) of the rested pork; thinly slice against the grain. Spread a layer of the pesto onto the cut sides of the toasted rolls. Top each roll bottom with half the sliced pork and a spoonful of the cucumber marinating liquid; season with salt and pepper. Finish with the roll tops. Serve with the salad. Enjoy!

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Sear & roast the pork:

1 Sear & roast the pork:


Preheat the oven to 450°F. Pat the pork dry with paper towels; season on all sides with salt, pepper, the spice blend and as much of the red pepper flakes as you’d like, depending on how spicy you’d like the dish to be. Rub the seasonings into the pork. In a medium pan, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the seasoned pork and cook, turning occasionally, 6 to 8 minutes, or until browned on all sides. Transfer the seared pork to a foil-lined sheet pan, leaving any browned bits (or fond) in the pan on the stove. Roast 18 to 20 minutes, or until cooked through. (An instant-read thermometer should register 145°F.) Remove from the oven and transfer to a cutting board, leaving the oven on. Let the roasted pork rest for at least 5 minutes.

2 Prepare the ingredients:


While the pork sears, wash and dry the fresh produce. Using a peeler, remove the yellow rind of the lemon, avoiding the white pith; mince the rind to get 2 teaspoons of zest (or use a zester). Quarter and deseed the lemon. Peel and mince the garlic; using the flat side of your knife, smash until it resembles a paste (or use a zester). Place the garlic paste in a bowl with the juice of all 4 lemon wedges; season with salt. Large dice the cucumber. Pick the parsley leaves off the stems; discard the stems. Roughly chop the capers. Halve the rolls.

Cook & chop the kale:

3 Cook & chop the kale:


While the pork roasts, heat the pan of reserved fond on medium-high until hot. (If the pan seems dry, add 1 teaspoon of olive oil.) Add the kale; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until wilted. Add ½ cup of water and cook, stirring occasionally, 6 to 8 minutes, or until the water has cooked off. Transfer the cooked kale to a cutting board; finely chop.

4 Make the salad & pesto:


While the pork continues to roast, in a large bowl, combine the cucumber, parsley and half the garlic-lemon mixture. Drizzle with olive oil; season with salt and pepper to taste. In a medium bowl, combine the chopped kale, cheese, capers, lemon zest and remaining garlic-lemon mixture. Slowly stir in enough olive oil to create a rough paste; season with salt and pepper to taste.

Toast the rolls:

5 Toast the rolls:


While the pork rests, place the rolls on a sheet pan, cut sides up. Drizzle with olive oil. Toast in the oven 4 to 6 minutes, or until the edges are lightly browned. Remove from the oven and divide between 2 dishes.

6 Finish & plate your dish:


Find the lines of muscle (or grain) of the rested pork; thinly slice against the grain. Spread a layer of the pesto onto the cut sides of the toasted rolls. Top each roll bottom with half the sliced pork and a spoonful of the cucumber marinating liquid; season with salt and pepper. Finish with the roll tops. Serve with the salad. Enjoy!

Finish & plate your dish: