Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Roasted Pepper and Goat Cheese Sandwiches

I love everything about this sandwich. Goat cheese is one of my favorites and these marinated roasted peppers with the basil are nothing short of scrumptious. They add such a great freshness that is kind of lacking in the winter months. It's as close to having a plump, fresh tomato as you can get in March. Add some salty capers and chewy ciabatta and I was in sandwich heaven.

Yield:  4 to 6 servings

4 large red or yellow bell peppers, preferably Holland
2 tablespoons good olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (increase if omitting capers)
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons drained capers

For assembling:
1 large ciabatta bread, halved horizontally
11 oz. garlic-and-herb or plain goat cheese (recommended: Montrachet) at room temperature
8 to 10 large basil leaves
3 thin slices red onion

1.      Preheat the oven to 500º F.
2.      Place the whole peppers on a sheet pan and place in the oven for 45 to 60 minutes, until the skins are completely wrinkled and the peppers are charred, turning them two or three times during roasting. Remove the pan from the oven and immediately cover it tightly with aluminum foil. Set aside for 30 minutes, or until the peppers are cool enough to handle.
3.      Meanwhile, combine the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Set aside.
4.      Remove the stem from each pepper and cut or rip them in quarters. Remove the peels and seeds and place the peppers in a bowl along with any juices that have collected. Discard the stems, peels, and seeds. Pour the oil and vinegar mixture over the peppers. Stir in the capers. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a few hours to allow the flavors to blend.
5.      To assemble the sandwiches, spread the bottom half of the loaf with the goat cheese. Add a layer of peppers and then a layer of basil leaves. Separate the onions into rings and spread out on top. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover with the top half of the ciabatta and cut into individual servings.

barely adapted from Ina Garten
red peppers
roasted red peppers
marinade ingredients

I added extra garlic because I was using plain goat cheese.
roasted red peppers with marinade & capers
marinated roasted peppers
spreading goat cheese on ciabatta

I didn't use the whole loaf - I was
only making enough for two people.
marinated roasted pepper layer
topped with basil and red onion
roasted pepper and goat cheese sandwich

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