Open-Face Baked Cheese Sandwiches with Pickled Onions & Kale-Carrot Salad

Open-Face Baked Cheese Sandwiches with Pickled Onions & Kale-Carrot Salad
  • 4Servings


  • 1 small yellow or white onion, very thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons white balsamic or sherry vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons superfine sugar
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Juice of 1 1/2 lemons (about 6 tbsp.)
  • 3 - 4 tablespoons tahini
  • 2 tablespoons EVOO
  • 1 large sprig rosemary, leaves stripped from stem
  • 1 clove garlic, cracked from skin
  • Bottled or filtered water
  • 1 large bunch Tuscan kale, stemmed and thinly sliced
  • 1 large carrot, peeled, then peeled into long, thin ribbons
  • 1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or sharp white cheddar
  • 1 cup grated Fontina Val d'Aosta or provolone
  • 1/2 cup creme fraiche
  • 1 rounded tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 4 thick (1-inch) slices good quality peasant bread or sourdough bread
  • Softened butter or mayonnaise


In a small bowl, toss the onion, vinegar and sugar; season with salt and pepper and let pickle 15 minutes.

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees . In a food processor, combine the lemon juice, tahini, EVOO, rosemary and garlic. Process until smooth, adding bottled or filtered water by the tablespoon to thin the dressing, if needed. In a large bowl, toss the kale, carrot and dressing; season.

Heat a cast-iron or other ovenproof skillet over medium.

In a medium bowl, mix the cheeses, creme fraiche and mustard.

Thinly coat one side of each bread slice with butter. Place on a work surface, buttered side down. Slather the bread with the cheese mixture. Place the bread in the skillet, cheese side up, and cook until the bottom browns, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to the oven and bake until the cheese is bubbly and browned, 7 to 10 minutes. Top with some of the drained pickled onions. Serve with the salad.