Vegan Braised Kale and Chickpea Sandwich With Sumac Onions Recipe

Photographs: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

A messy sandwich of braised kale and chickpeas topped with sumac onions is a hearty, filling, and delicious combo.

Recipe Facts

Active: 25 mins
Total: 60 mins
Makes: 4 sandwiches

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  • For the Sumac Onions:
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced by hand or on a mandoline (the thinner the better)
  • 1 teaspoon dried ground sumac berries
  • 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
  • Kosher salt
  • For the Kale and Chickpeas
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated on a microplane grater
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 bunch kale, stiff stalks discarded, roughly shredded by hand (about 1 pound)
  • 1 (14-ounce) can chickpeas, with their liquid
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • To Assemble:
  • 4 slices pizza bianca or other sandwich bread, split and lightly toasted
  • Vegan mayonnaise to taste


  1. Place onions in a medium bowl and cover with cold water. Allow to rest for 15 minutes. Rinse in several changes of water then carefully dry with a salad spinner lined with paper towels. Combine onions with sumac and sesame seeds. Season to taste with salt. Set aside while braising kale.

  2. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan or straight-sided skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add garlic and pepper flakes and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add kale leaves and stir to coat with oil. Cook until lightly wilted, about 1 minute. Add chickpeas and their liquid. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until kale is fully tender and liquid has reduced to a thick saucelike consistency, about 30 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

  3. To Assemble Sandwiches: Divide braised kale and chickpeas evenly amongst four sandwiches. Top with sumac onions and vegan mayonnaise. Serve warm.

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