Makes 4 Servings
Hands-On Time: 35 Minutes
Total Preparation Time: 35 Minutes
Roasted kale and parsnip strips
1 small eggplant (about 10 ounces)
1 large zucchini (about 12 ounces)
1 ½ 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
½ cup heavy cream
1 ½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice
8 slices whole grain bread
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Generously oil 2 rimmed baking sheets.
Cut eggplant (about 2 2/3 cups), zucchini (about 3 cups), and tomatoes (about 3 ¾ cups) crosswise into ¼-inch-thick slices.
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 eggplant, 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.
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.
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.
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.