Saturday, August 13, 2011

Fresh Ricotta and Roasted Vegetable Sandwhiches

This recipe found in Sarah Moulton's "Every Day Family Dinners", is how I found the ricotta cheese recipe. The roasted vegetables pair great with creamy light flavor of the ricotta cheese. Put it on some whole grain or artisan bread and you have a delicious and unique sandwich that's sure to become one of your new favorites. This recipe may seem deceiving, but it is very easy and fairly quick to make (less than an hour). while you are slicing and roasting your vegetable you can start cooking the cheese and have it drained and ready by the time the veggies are cooked and cooled. Lay out all the ingredients to make a sandwich making line and everyone can assemble their own.

The original version of this recipe asks for roasting tomatoes, zucchini and eggplant. However, the great thing about this recipe is that is it so versatile you can pretty much use whatever vegetables your heart desires. The one's I listed above where what I had on hand and I'm glad I did. Roasting the onion brought out a nice sweetness that accompanies the mild flavor of the squash and the light nuttiness of the potato's.
But the moral to the story here is, don't feel like you have to use just what I've listed. Though if you do I'm sure you'll love it. Enjoy!

Prep & Cook time: about 50 minutes total

Makes: 5 large sandwiches or 10-12 small sandwiches - depending on the size of bread you use


1 batch of fresh ricotta cheese (recipe below)

3 medium sized white or gold potatoes - thinly sliced

3-4 medium sized pattipan or yellow squash - thinly sliced

2 medium yellow onions - cut into about half in thick slices

5 gloves of garlic - whole still in the skin

olive oil

salt and fresh ground pepper

Bread your choice - ( I prefer artisan style bread, whatever looks good at the store at the time, but you can use whole grain bread or thinly sliced Italian bread works great too)

Preheat oven to 400.
Line two baking sheets with tin foil and spray or rub down with a thin layer of oil.
Place squash and potato's slices into a large bowl, drizzle with olive oil (2-3 TBS), season with salt and pepper and toss with hands or tongs . Spread out vegetables onto both pans - leaving a space big enough for the onions on one of the sheets. It is ok if the veggies over lap one another, but spread them out as much as possible. Place the onion on the sheet and drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Take a small piece of foil and wrap garlic gloves with it. Place garlic on sheet if any room or right on the oven rack is fine too.

Places veggies in oven and roast for 20-25 minutes or until golden and cooked through - removing the garlic after 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool long enough to handle.

If your bread is not already presliced, cut into 1/4 to 1-2 thick slices.

Take you ricotta cheese, season with salt and pepper. Peel the cloves of garlic and add to the mixture. With a fork smash and mix the garlic into the cheese. Set a side.

To assemble sandwhiches:
There is no exact art or measurement to making these. Simply take your bread, spread a layer of cheese on one side of the bread, layer desired amount of veggies and top with other slice of bread or if you desire, like my husband does, you can eat them open faced. These are also great made and eaten the next day too (just make sure all ingredients are completely cooled first if you are going to do this, in order to prevent soggy bread).
Serve with a side salad and your favorite side dish and you have a great meal for lunch or dinner.

Ricotta Cheese Recipe

Makes: About 1 cup

Prep/Cook Time: 35-45 minutes

4 cups milk - whatever your preference

1/2 cup heavy cream

pinch of salt

1 1/2 tbs fresh lemon juice
Line a sieve with paper tiles or cheese cloth, place over a large bowl and set aside. In a medium sized pot (3-4 quarts), slowly bring milk, cream and salt to a rolling boil - stirring occasionally. Reduce to a simmer and stir in lemon juice. Let simmer until mixture curdles - about 2 minutes.
Pour mixture into sieve and let strain for at least 15 minutes and up to 30 minutes. If you like your ricotta drier, let cheese strain for up to one hour. Remove cheese from strainer and place in a bowl. Serve warm or if not using right away cover and place in fridge. For freshest results use within 2-3 days.

Here are some great flavor variations:
Roasted Garlic Ricotta - Add 4-5 cloves of roasted garlic and a large pinch of white ground pepper. Smash garlic into cheese season with white pepper and salt to taste.

Lemon Garlic Ricotta - Follow the above recipe for roasted garlic ricotta then add 2 tsp fresh grated lemon zest.

Herbed Ricotta - Add 1-2 tsp each of fresh basil, thyme and rosemary - finely chopped. Season to taste with salt and fresh ground pepper.


thewordthatpierces said...

I do miss ricotta. BTW did you know, traditionally ricotta is made with sheep's milk? I actually found some last year at Grocery Outlet, really cheap, before I realized ALL milk stuff made me sick, and it was really good, though good luck getting sheep milk here, I suppose you could find a farmer that might have some, but I definitely think the sheep milk makes it have a much fuller and richer flavor. :)

thewordthatpierces said...

Oh yeah, you asked about my blog when I mentioned it. Its mostly just me when I am tired and depressed writing random things... I suppose it has a theme: depression. lol

But if you click on my SN, it will take you to my profile page where you will find it. :D

Rachel Blair said...

Thanks Amy! I did not know that, though I should have. I could defeintly see that giving it a nice depth to the flavor. Great I will check it out. Oh and even without the ricotta, these sandwhiches would be great with a garlic mayo or an herbed cheese (vegan style if needed ;) spread too.