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Saturday, February 05, 2011

Moroccan Carrot and Goat Cheese Sandwiches with Green Olive Tapenade

Seasonal Recipe of the Week
I don’t think I have ever done a sandwich recipe before but this is so yummy, exotic and simple I thought it was worth doing. The flavors are Middle Eastern and the combination of textures makes it really special. You can make all the parts ahead of time and assemble right before lunch.

Ingredients for carrots
1 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons sweet smoked paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon harissa
1 1/2 lb medium carrots (about 8)

Ingredients for tapenade
1 1/4 cups pitted green olives (6 to 7 oz)
3 tablespoons drained bottled capers, rinsed
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 flat anchovy fillet, chopped (optional)
1 teaspoon finely grated fresh lemon zest
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
6 whole wheat pita
6 oz soft mild goat cheese (3/4 cup), at room temperature

For the carrots: whisk together sugar, lemon juice, spices, salt, and oil in a large bowl until sugar is dissolved. Halve carrots crosswise on a long diagonal, then, starting from diagonal ends, cut into thin slices. Cook carrots in a 4- to 5-quart pot of boiling salted water until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Drain well in a colander and immediately toss with dressing. Cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally, then marinate, covered and chilled, at least 4 hours.

To make tapenade, pulse olives with capers, parsley, anchovy, zest, lemon juice, and pepper in a food processor until coarsely chopped, then scrape down sides of bowl with a rubber spatula. Pulsing motor, add oil in a slow stream and continue to pulse until mixture is finely chopped (do not pulse to a paste).

To assemble sandwiches, cut top 1/3 off pita and open up pocket. Spread tapenade on one side and goat cheese on the other side. Fill with carrots and serve. Top with some sprouts to make it even more festive.