Makes 4 Servings
Hands-On Time: 35 Minutes
Total Preparation Time: 35 Minutes
Roasted kale and parsnip strips
1 small eggplant (about 10 oz)
1 large zucchini (about 12 oz)
1 ½ pounds plum tomatoes (about 6 medium)
3 T extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 garlic cloves
1 qt whole milk
½ c heavy cream
1 ½ T fresh lemon juice
8 slices whole grain bread
1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Generously oil 2 rimmed baking sheets.
2. Cut eggplant (about 2 2/3 cups), zucchini (about 3 cups), and tomatoes (about 3 ¾ cups) crosswise into ¼-inch-thick slices.
3. Combine the olive oil, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper in a small dish. Brush the oil mixture on both sides of the eqqplant, zucchini, tomatoes, and garlic and arrange them on the baking sheets. Roast the vegetables for 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, 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 ¼ 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. Transfer the ricotta to a bowl. Mash the roasted garlic cloves and stir them into the ricotta along with salt and pepper to taste.
6. Divide the warm ricotta 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.
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.
The colorful citrus juicers that I use on the show are available from many cookware shops. They come in three sizes – a large orange one for oranges, smaller yellow for lemons, and yep you guessed it, an even smaller one for limes. I find that the yellow one works fine for lemons and limes. Recently I discovered a new Mexican-style citrus juicer which has two reamers (a yellow and a green) built into one.
There are several things you can do to get more juice out of citrus. You can roll it on the counter while pressing down which sort of bruises it. Or you can pop it in a 300 F oven for about 10 minutes. Or you can put it in a microwave oven for 20 seconds. All of these tricks help to make the juice come out more easily. This is especially helpful with limes that don’t give up their juice easily (and if you are a fan of those fun Latin alcoholic drinks with lots of fresh lime juice this will streamline the drink-making process). (Meanwhile, my colleague and buddy, Ming Tsai says that he thinks nuking citrus makes the juice taste cooked. I disagree but you can decide for yourself.)