Roasted Pork Sandwiches with Kale Pesto & Caper Mayonnaise

Roasted Pork Sandwiches

with Kale Pesto & Caper Mayonnaise

55 MIN
4 Servings
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From the Test Kitchen

Chefs, get ready for some spectacular, hearty sandwiches. We’re dressing up roasted, sliced pork with a pair of complementary spreads: a deliciously briny, caper-infused mayonnaise and an earthy kale pesto (brightened up by a bit of lemon zest). We’re layering it all on toasted ciabatta rolls, for elevated Italian fare. On the side, sliced pear adds a touch of sweetness to our salad, tossed with a refreshing lemony vinaigrette.

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  • Nutrition
    PER SERVING
  • Calories
    780 Cals (est.)
fresh
ingredients
time-saving
tips & techniques
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 and pepper. In a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the seasoned pork; 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 26 to 28 minutes, or until cooked through. (An instant-read thermometer should register 145°F.) Remove from the oven and transfer to a cutting board. Let rest for at least 5 minutes.

Prepare the ingredients & make the caper mayonnaise:
2 Prepare the ingredients & make the caper mayonnaise:

While the pork sears, wash and dry the fresh produce. Halve the rolls. 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. Cut off and discard the root end of the lettuce; roughly chop the leaves. Core and thinly slice the pear. Roughly chop the capers. Peel and finely chop the garlic. In a bowl, combine the capers, mayonnaise and half the garlic; season with salt and pepper to taste.

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 slightly wilted. Add ½ cup of water; cook, stirring occasionally, 4 to 5 minutes, or until cooked off. Transfer the kale to a cutting board; finely chop. Wipe out the pan.

Make the pesto & vinaigrette:
4 Make the pesto & vinaigrette:

While the pork continues to roast, in a bowl, combine the chopped kale and lemon zest. Stir in enough olive oil to create a rough paste; season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside. In a bowl, combine the juice of all 4 lemon wedges and as much of the remaining garlic as you’d like. Slowly whisk in 2 tablespoons of olive oil until well combined; season with salt and pepper to taste.

Toast the rolls:
5 Toast the rolls:

While the pork continues to roast, line a sheet pan with foil. Place the rolls on the prepared sheet pan, cut sides up. Toast in the oven 4 to 6 minutes, or until the edges are lightly browned. Remove from the oven and carefully transfer to a clean, dry work surface.

Make the salad & plate your dish:
6 Make the salad & plate your dish:

While the pork rests, in a large bowl, combine the lettuce and pear; season with salt and pepper. Add enough of the vinaigrette to coat the salad (you may have extra vinaigrette). Toss to combine; season with salt and pepper to taste. Find the lines of muscle (or grain) of the rested pork; thinly slice crosswise against the grain. Spread a layer of the pesto onto the bottoms of the toasted rolls. Top with the sliced pork and caper mayonnaise. Complete with the roll tops. Divide the sandwiches and salad between 4 dishes. Enjoy!

Tips from Home Chefs

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 and pepper. In a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the seasoned pork; 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 26 to 28 minutes, or until cooked through. (An instant-read thermometer should register 145°F.) Remove from the oven and transfer to a cutting board. Let rest for at least 5 minutes.

2 Prepare the ingredients & make the caper mayonnaise:

While the pork sears, wash and dry the fresh produce. Halve the rolls. 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. Cut off and discard the root end of the lettuce; roughly chop the leaves. Core and thinly slice the pear. Roughly chop the capers. Peel and finely chop the garlic. In a bowl, combine the capers, mayonnaise and half the garlic; season with salt and pepper to taste.

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 slightly wilted. Add ½ cup of water; cook, stirring occasionally, 4 to 5 minutes, or until cooked off. Transfer the kale to a cutting board; finely chop. Wipe out the pan.

4 Make the pesto & vinaigrette:

While the pork continues to roast, in a bowl, combine the chopped kale and lemon zest. Stir in enough olive oil to create a rough paste; season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside. In a bowl, combine the juice of all 4 lemon wedges and as much of the remaining garlic as you’d like. Slowly whisk in 2 tablespoons of olive oil until well combined; season with salt and pepper to taste.

Toast the rolls:
5 Toast the rolls:

While the pork continues to roast, line a sheet pan with foil. Place the rolls on the prepared sheet pan, cut sides up. Toast in the oven 4 to 6 minutes, or until the edges are lightly browned. Remove from the oven and carefully transfer to a clean, dry work surface.

6 Make the salad & plate your dish:

While the pork rests, in a large bowl, combine the lettuce and pear; season with salt and pepper. Add enough of the vinaigrette to coat the salad (you may have extra vinaigrette). Toss to combine; season with salt and pepper to taste. Find the lines of muscle (or grain) of the rested pork; thinly slice crosswise against the grain. Spread a layer of the pesto onto the bottoms of the toasted rolls. Top with the sliced pork and caper mayonnaise. Complete with the roll tops. Divide the sandwiches and salad between 4 dishes. Enjoy!

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