One of my favorite things about The Gourmet Cookbook is that it is so huge that I can count on finding something completely new every time I flip through it. And of course, the recipes are reliably awesome. I found this one when I was idly flipping through the salad and sandwich sections to get some new ideas and inspiration. As soon as I saw this recipe, I knew I had to make it asap. The combination of carrots marinated in Moroccan spices, goat cheese, and green olive spread sounded pretty irresistible to me.
I loved this panini. It was so creative - I never would have thought to use carrots for the bulk of a sandwich filling - and it was filling, yet light. Not to mention packed with flavor. It does take some work to prep all the components, but it is totally worth it. I'm definitely going to keep this recipe in mind to serve when I have guests over for lunch.
p.s. After this post, I'll be taking a couple weeks off from blogging, because Andrew and I are heading to Turkey for a long-awaited vacation! I am so excited to see the sights, spend time at the beach, and of course, eat plenty of amazing food! Perhaps I'll have some Turkish recipes for you when I return...
Moroccan carrot panini with goat cheese and olive tapenade
Adapted from The Gourmet Cookbook
Makes 6 sandwiches
2 tbs sugar
1 tbs fresh lemon juice
2 tsp sweet paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp chile powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 pounds medium carrots
1 1/4 cups green olives, pitted
3 tbs drained capers, rinsed
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 anchovy fillet, chopped
1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
1 1/2 tbs fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
12 slices hearty bread (sourdough is especially good)
6 oz. soft goat cheese
Olive oil or cooking spray
Special equipment: mandoline slices, panini press
Prepare carrots: In a large bowl, whish together sugar, lemon juice, paprika, cumin, cinnamon, chile powder, salt, and olive oil until well combined. Halve carrots lengthwise and cut into very thin (about 1/16-inch) slices with a mandoline slicer.
Bring a 4- to 5-quart pot of well-salted water to a boil. Cook carrots for 1 minute, until crisp-tender. Drain well and immediately toss with marinade. Cool carrots to room temperature, tossing occasionally to distribute dressing. Cover bowl and refrigerate carrots for at least 4 hours (up to 3 days).
Make tapenade: In a food processor, pulse together olives, capers, parsley, anchovy, lemon zest, lemon juice, and pepper. Scrape down sides of bowl and add oil. Pulse until mixture is finely chopped and well combined, but do not process into a paste.
Make sandwiches. For each sandwich, spread tapenade on one slice of bread and goat cheese on the other. Place carrots on one slice of bread and top with the other. Lightly coat panini press with olive oil or cooking spray. Grill sandwiches in a panini press until bread is lightly toasted.