Chard Sandwich with Sundried Tomato Smear

I recently found myself in Kentucky with my good friend Damaris Phillips. To go along with the bourbon that you know is always on her table, she made me a sandwich with her signature tomato aioli.

Back home in NYC I found myself seriously craving her aioli, I needed more (but not more bourbon, I’m done with bourbon for a while). It was so rich, so meaty and so deep in flavor that I would not be forgetting it anytime soon.

The key wasn’t just tomatoes, but SUNDRIED tomatoes! Sundried tomatoes are tomatoes that (you guessed it) are dried by the sun.

While getting a tan for 4-10 days they do more than just lose moisture, they get an intensely meaty and even deeper tomato flavor. 

I wanted to use them to make a vegetarian sandwich that is rich and satisfying. This is the kind of sandwich where my husband randomly mumbles to himself “you don’t miss the meat” and the truth is, you really don’t!

Layered with a thick sundried tomato smear, gooey Havarti cheese and a sauté of chard, leeks and protein packed navy beans; this is a vegetarian sandwich that will truly satisfy, all while making you fall in love with greens all over again…or, let’s be honest, maybe for the very first time.

Chard Sandwich with Sundried Tomato Smear

Yield: 2 sandwiches

Sundried Tomato Smear:

1 tablespoon olive oil

½ orange bell pepper, coarsely chopped, about ½ cup

3 cloves garlic, sliced

½ teaspoon kosher salt

1 ounce sundried tomatoes, coarsely chopped, about ½ cup

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

  1. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-low heat. Stir in the garlic and salt, cook until tender, about 3-5 minutes. Stir in the sundried tomatoes, tomato paste and thyme, cook for 3 minutes more. Remove skillet from heat. Transfer the sundried tomato mixture to a food processor and puree until mostly smooth. Set aside.


1 tablespoon olive oil

1 large leek, white + light green parts only, chopped, about 1 cup

4 large green chard stalks, stemed + coarsely chopped, 3 cups loosely packed

½ teaspoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

½ cup navy beans

Pinch of red pepper flakes

1 Baguette cut into two- 6 inch pieces

4 ounces Havarti cheese

1 small tomato, sliced

  1. Heat the oil in large skillet over medium heat. Stir in the leek, cook until tender, about 3-5 minutes. Stir in the chard and salt; cook until the chard is wilted, another 2-3 minutes. Stir in the white wine vinegar and red pepper flakes and cook until the vinegar is evaporated, 1-2 minutes more. Add the navy beans to the pan and cook until warmed through. Leave pan on low while you assemble the sandwiches. 
  2. To assemble the sandwiches, slice baguette piece in half lengthwise, spread the sundried tomato smear onto the bottoms halves of the bread, top with half the cheese, and place remaining cheese on top halves. Place bread cut side up on a baking sheet and place under the broiler until the cheese is melted, about 5 minutes. Remove bread from the oven and divide the swiss chard mixture evenly between the two sandwiches onto the bottom slices of the bread, top with tomato slices and then the tops of the bread and serve.

Make it Meaty: Some thinly sliced grilled or breaded chicken is a really nice addition to this sandwich. Also some thin slices of turkey from the deli counter, warmed slightly in a pan can be very nice with the chard and sundried tomatoes.

Keep it Simple:

  • Any type of beans works for the navy beans and any mild cheese (like mozzarella. provolone or swiss) is great instead of harvarti. 
  • Can’t find leeks? A small onion works fine.
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme can be substituted for the fresh, though fresh gives you a more vibrant flavor. And fresh thyme should last in your fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Gluten Free: Make is gluten free by using a gluten free bread!


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