Pork and Broccolini Sandwich / by Cynthia Raub

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A pork shoulder roast is a gift that keeps on giving. Its meaty girth, gristle, and crisp skin provides a generous and impressive roast, without breaking the bank, which is perfect for a large group. Or, you can make one for your family and reserve the leftover meat for future meals! Amy gifted me with an enormous chunk of her roast and I wanted to do something different from my typical uses of leftover pork. I normally default to pulled pork sandwiches or use it as a taco filling, but somewhere in the depths of my memory, I recalled a pork sandwich I had at Salumi in Seattle eons ago as inspiration. The earthy and tender broccolini, with luscious and slightly crisped pork on a toasted roll, was held together by melted provolone. This decadent sandwich is my new favorite way to enjoy leftover pork shoulder.

Notes: This sandwich is pretty straightforward with few ingredients, so it's important that each component is the best that is can be. A substantial sandwich roll is crucial to a sandwich like this - a ciabatta or torta roll with good structure will not fall apart under the cooked down broccolini and loose pork. I loved the variations in texture that the broccolini had: from the firmer stems to the soft cooked heads, but I can see other greens used as a substitute. If you don't care for broccolini, I would recommend green swiss chard with stems and leaves.

Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4

For the broccolini
2 bunches broccolini
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
4 cloves garlic, sliced
2 shallots, sliced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon lemon juice

For the sandwich
4 sandwich ciabatta rolls
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 1/3 cups pork shoulder (pulled or sliced)
4 slices provolone

Preparing the broccolini
Make an ice bath to cool the broccolini, by filling a large bowl with water and ice. In a large sauté pan, fill halfway with water and bring to a boil on high heat. Trim the ends of the broccolini stems, about 1 inch. Cut the broccolini in half, place in boiling water, and cook for 2 minutes until barely cooked through.

Drain the broccolini, and put it in the ice bath to halt cooking. Drain cooled broccolini and set aside.

In the same sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil on medium heat. Add red pepper flakes, sliced garlic, and shallot rings- sweat until translucent and tender but not falling apart.

Add the broccolini and stir to combine. Cook on medium heat for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender and soft. Season with salt, and taste to adjust seasoning. Squeeze 1 tablespoon lemon juice on top of the broccolini to finish.

Assembling the sandwich
Slice sandwich rolls in half, drizzle with olive oil and, and toast until golden on a griddle or skillet. Set aside.

Drizzle skillet with remaining olive oil, and warm pork through, until some edges are brown and crisp.

Assemble sandwich by spooning broccolini on the bottom slice, then topping it with the supple and crisp pork. Place a slice of provolone on the pork and place under the broiler in your oven, until the cheese is melted. Devour immediately.