Friday, June 15, 2012

Moroccan carrot panini with goat cheese and olive tapenade


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

For carrots:
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

For tapenade:
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

For sandwiches:
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.


  1. Apparently I need to peruse my copy of The Gourmet Cookbook more often because this panini sounds amazing and oh so unique! Love all of these flavors. Wow.

  2. Looks interesting and loved the addition of goat cheese

  3. Ranjani I always love the recipes you share! Such great flavors, and yet still healthy and easy. Have an amazing time in Turkey!

  4. This sounds delicious. I made the morrocan spaghetti recipe you posted and everyone loved it :) Will have to try this out- I love these flavors. Have an awesome trip and congrats on graduating!! - Marisa

  5. This sounds seriously good. The spiced carrots and goat cheese looks delicious

  6. I love the marinated carrots in here. In Portugal, I encountered some of this thinly sliced carrots in salads and on the sides of eggs and vowed to replicate them at home. This sandwich is the perfect inspiration! Enjoy your trip!

  7. Veggie paninis usually somewhat disappoint me, but these looks great and the carrots sound so flavorful!

  8. Fusing flavors from different cultures makes food so much interesting and fun! Beautiful paninis!

  9. this sounds pretty awesome to me! not sure if i'd love the olive tapanade, but i sure want to try :)

  10. what a unique panini - I love this idea!

  11. Hi Ranjani ,

    I'm Punitha of

    New to your space:)

    Carrot panini looks AAAwesome and crispy..

    one request to you Ranjani ,

    I posted a guest post at Lavanya's blog.

    Do drop a comment at Lavanya's recipes....

    thank you Ranjani and Keep on:)


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