BKR // Not Without Salt

BKR // Not Without Salt

We loaded our small car with bags, snacks, iPhones and while “Danny the Champion of the World” played through the speakers. Gabe drove with hands gripped tightly on the wheel as rain pelted against the window through much of the drive to Portland. We needed the sort of adventure that comes when we step outside of our routine. We wanted to try new things, visit old friends and to hit a sort of reset button by shaking up the familiarness of our days.

This sandwich was inspired by our little trip. We happened upon Roman Candle when looking for nothing in particular. I ordered a sandwich called, The Darling. How could you not with a name like that? But really it was the promise of kale, chickpeas, chilies and ricotta on olive bread that led me to order when I had already filled up on pastries from the previous stop. The sandwich was good, their gelato; even better.

The kale had heat and softness while the ricotta cooled. At home, I turned the chickpeas that were in The Darling into bacon because I felt the sandwich needed a bit of texture and I thought how cool it would be to dethrone the beloved BLT. Well, maybe not dethrone but perhaps be a Winter equivalent to my most loved sandwich. The olives were left out only because capers were in my fridge.

A few things to note as you adapt this sandwich to suite your own tastes. Had I remembered to grab a fresh red chile from the store I’d throw those in instead of the ground chile pepper I added. Also, had I had a lemon there would have been a squeeze of that too to brighten. Even a Winter’s sandwich needs a bit of brightness, in fact perhaps more so than Summer’s.

That is the story of the BKR: Bacon, Kale, Ricotta. Think of it as Winter’s solution to the inevitable craving for a BLT when tomatoes exist only in our dreams along with the melody of ice cream trucks and little toes dip into plastic pools.


BKR // Not Without Salt

BKR // Not Without Salt


BKR (Bacon, Kale, Ricotta) Sandwich

Makes 2 sandwiches


2 tablespoon olive oil

2 garlic cloves, sliced

1 bunch kale, rinsed and cut in 1-inch ribbons

pinch chile flakes

1 tablespoon capers, drained



1/3 cup ricotta

4 strips bacon, cooked until very crisp

4 slices bread, toasted (with butter in a hot skillet is how I like to to it)


Add the oil to a hot skillet. When the oil is shimmering add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 30 second over medium-high heat. Add all of the kale along with a pinch of salt and chile flakes (or sliced fresh chile if you have it). Saute until wilted and soft, about 3 minutes.

Transfer the kale to a bowl then stir in the capers. Taste and add more salt if needed and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice if you happen to have it on hand.

At this point I toast the bread in the still-hot skillet with a bit of butter. Try rubbing the bread with a garlic clove for another boost of flavor.

Divide the ricotta between the four slices of bread. Add the kale to two halves, then two strips of bacon on each sandwich and finally, top the with the other pieces of bread with ricotta.

Slice in half then enjoy.

*I can’t help but think that goat cheese would be great in place of the ricotta. I plan to try it soon. If you do, let me know how it goes. I guess we’d have to change the name to BKG. I like that too.

53 Responses to “The BKR or Bacon, Kale and Ricotta Sandwich”

  1. Allie

    I live in Portland, and am obsessed with your blog! I am excited to try this recipe, but I realized I work very close to Roman Candle, so I will have to try that out as well! Thanks for the new post!

  2. amanda

    this looks amazing! hope you enjoyed portland! (my home) we love roman candle as well as their neighbor salt and straw (doubtful you went there if you had RC’s gelato)… 🙂

  3. sara forte

    maybe this is my fetus of a son son talking, but I have never seen such a sexy picture of bacon. You’ve got skills, lady. Glad you guys got away, sounds like the perfect little trip. Hope the week has started off well!

  4. Jennifer

    This looks great. Just the other day I had a wilted lemony kale salad with goat cheese, thick sliced bacon, golden raisins, and toasted pecans! It was amazing and now I’m really devoted to finding more kale recipes to try. This looks like one of them!

  5. J.S. @ Sun Diego Eats

    For some reason I get the urge to add olives to this sandwich as well….although I guess capers would not be too bad either. Or figs! Although I suppose that defeats the purpose of it being a winter-y BLT.

  6. Eileen

    Wow, does this sandwich ever sound amazing! I’m definitely excited to find another way to stuff my face with all the kale. 🙂

  7. saltandserenity

    I am working very hard on trying to embrace kale. This could be just the thing to turn on the switch. Looks so yummy! The bacon photo stopped my heart for a beat or two!

  8. cheri

    We go to Portland a few times every summer and next time we will have to try the Roman Candle, thanks for the tip. Also what a beautiful sandwich you made, your pics are gorgeous.

  9. Tara

    1) You are brilliant. Kale and bacon AND ricotta? Heck yeah.
    2) If all works out and I’m in Seattle this October, I hope we get to have lunch together. xo

  10. Nicole

    I simply cannot wait to make this. Right after you posted it I wen to the grocery store for ricotta and I think tonight’s finally the night. Thanks for sharing!

  11. Jillian L

    Other than the fact capers are little drops of evil, I am making this sandwich tonight (maybe with olives instead of capers? I know it’s weird I don’t like capers but I like olives). This sounds absolutely incredible, and what a great post! Almost makes up for the fact it snowed again today

  12. Cindy Rodriguez

    I made this last night with Hemplers pepper bacon and homemade ricotta, it was heavenly! Perfect to accompany a lovely sunset over Birch Bay.

  13. Harvest and Honey

    I am constantly trying to find great new sandwich combos, and this looks fantastic! I’ve got a bunch of ricotta that I made for one of my recent posts and I’ve yet to shmear it onto a sandwich. Also, my kale hater of a husband might switch over to the dark side (dark greens > lettuce) if I serve it to him this way. Thanks Ashley 🙂

  14. Mariah

    Can’t wait to try this sandwich! Kale and ricotta and of course, bacon are among my very favorites! I will try it with goat cheese since my husband is into that.

  15. Mary Gross

    I will be honest and say that I have a slight…aversion…to ricotta. But just looking at this sandwich is making my mouth water. While I do love a classic BLT, I think I love the chance to give those ole “tried and true” sammies a good run for the money even more. I’ll definitely be trying this!

  16. Kevin

    Oh bacon… how do I love thee? And Kale! We eat quite a bit of kale at home, but not like this! Am thinking maybe a poached egg would taste nice as an additional topping!

  17. Aisle24

    Seriously, the closeups on the bacon look every bit of delicious. I never thought of paring kale and bacon. We will have to try this soon,

  18. Sheila

    So yummy! The cafe I work at in Berkeley, Bartavelle, has a similar sandwich and I’m a little addicted to it. I just visited Portland for the first time and was told I had to try Roman Candle, but sadly never made it. So much good food there, it’s hard to cram it all into a weekend!

  19. Rachel - Tasty Thailand

    Wow, as a kale lover, I would never have thought of adding it to a bacon and ricotta sandwich but it sounds (and looks) awesome. Must try this the next time I buy bacon (I have kale in the fridge every day 🙂

    Lovely blog, btw and gorgeous photos.


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