Moroccan Carrot and Goat Cheese Sandwiches with Green Olive Tapenade

Yes, this sandwich has a mouthful of a name, but it is definitely worth making, and is actually deceptively easy once you get going. I’ll take it over a standard wheat-hummus-typical sandwich vegetables sandwich any day. Even Mike, who claims to hate carrots but actually ends up liking almost anything I put carrots in loved this.

My Sundays usually start with a run, followed by a stack of cookbooks and a grocery list. The stack this weekend started with the Gourmet cookbook (a present from my fabulous little sister) and quickly grew with Mike’s selections (does someone like Asian food?)

I don’t really want to talk about the run – it was one of the worst in my life – but I got REALLY excited planning the menu for the week. I’m looking forward to every single recipe! This sandwich ended up being Sunday night’s dinner, and it was perfect.

It all starts with ribbons of carrots (made easily with a vegetable peeler), blanched very briefly, and marinated with spices, lemon juice, and olive oil. Next comes some green olive tapenade and goat cheese.

Ruth (I feel like we’re on a first name basis now that I’ve read Garlic & Sapphires, Tender at the Bone, and Comfort me with Apples) suggested pumpernickel bread, which I’m sure is lovely, but our Trader Joes was pretty much out of EVERYTHING except whole wheat sourdough, and somehow, it worked out! (I also omitted some things in the tapenade because I like keeping it simple and anchovy-free)

If the rest of the recipes in the cookbook are even remotely as enticing as this one, I’m going to be a VERY happy cook.

Recipe:
(adapted from The Gourmet Cookbook)

makes 3 or 4 sandwiches

carrots
1 tbsp sugar
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp Hungarian paprika
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cinnamon
pinch cayenne
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp vegetable oil
4 medium carrots, washed and peeled

tapenade
about 2/3 cup pitted green olives
4 tsp capers, rinsed and drained
1/2 tsp lemon zest
1 tbsp lemon juice
pinch freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp olive oil

sandwiches
6 or 8 slices whole wheat sourdough or pumpernickel bread
3-4 oz goat cheese

Peel the carrots into ribbons using a vegetable peeler.
Combine marinade ingredients (lemon juice, oil, sugar, and spices) in a medium bowl and mix well.

Bring a medium pot of water to a boil and drop the carrots in for 45 seconds, then drain well and stir into the marinade. Toss to coat, then cover the bowl and refrigerate for about an hour.

To make the tapenade, combine all ingredients in a small food processor and pulse until combined and well-chopped. Taste and adjust by adding more capers, black pepper or lemon juice if needed.

Lightly toast the bread. Spread one side with goat cheese and top with carrots. Spread the other side with tapenade. Make a sandwich and enjoy.

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