SARA MOULTON’S ROASTED VEGETABLE AND RICOTTA SANDWICHES
Chef and TV personality Sara Moulton shows you how to make fresh ricotta in this recipe, but if you want to take a shortcut, buy some good ricotta at the supermarket and skip Steps 4 and 5.
1 small eggplant (about 10 ounces)
1 large zucchini (about 12 ounces)
1 1/2 pounds plum tomatoes (about 6 medium)
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 garlic cloves
1 quart whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
8 slices whole grain bread
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Generously oil 2 rimmed baking sheets.
2. Cut eggplant (about 2 2/3 cups), zucchini (about 3 cups), and tomatoes (about 3 3/4 cups) crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices.
3. Combine the olive oil, 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a small dish. Brush the oil mixture on both sides of the eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes and garlic and arrange them on the baking sheets. Roast the vegetables 30 minutes, turning the eggplant and zucchini and removing the garlic after 15 minutes. Alternatively, grill the vegetables on a preheated grill outside or grill pan inside.
4. Meanwhile, to make the ricotta, line a strainer with a double layer of cheesecloth or dampened paper towels and place it over a bowl. Slowly bring the milk, cream and 1/4 teaspoon salt to a rolling boil in a heavy 4-quart pot over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
5. Stir the lemon juice into the milk mixture; reduce the heat to low; simmer, stirring constantly, until the mixture curdles, about 2 minutes. Pour the mixture into the cheesecloth-lined strainer and let it drain for 10 to 15 minutes; discard the liquid.
6. Transfer ricotta to a bowl. Mash the roasted garlic cloves and stir them into the ricotta along with salt and pepper to taste.
Divide the ricotta (make sure it’s room temperature if you’re using store-bought) among 4 slices of bread and top with the hot roasted vegetables and the remaining 4 slices of bread. Cut the sandwiches in half and serve. Makes 4 servings.
Cook’s notes: Every time I make ricotta it comes out differently; sometimes it has large curds, sometimes it has small curds and occasionally it has no curds. If this should happen to you, don’t panic, just add another tablespoon of fresh lemon juice and the curds will appear.