Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Roasted Pepper and Goat Cheese Sandwich


I have to admit that I'm not usually crazy about roasted bell peppers, but I decided to take a chance and make this sandwich anyway. I am so happy that I did! The sweetness from the roasted peppers was balanced out perfectly by the tangy, herbed goat cheese and spicy arugula. And you can use whatever color of bell peppers that you like...red, yellow, or orange, although I would probably stay away from green. These sandwiches just require a little bit of time and planning because the peppers need to be roasted and marinated for a couple of hours before assembling. Well worth the wait though! 

Roasted Pepper and Goat Cheese Sandwich
Servings: 2 to 4

1 loaf ciabatta bread
2 large bell peppers (red, yellow, or orange)
1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
1 garlic clove, minced
4 oz. herb and garlic goat cheese (or regular), at room temperature
2 tbsp. fresh basil, chopped
1 small shallot, thinly sliced
1 handful arugula
Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 500°. Place the peppers on a baking sheet. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the peppers have softened and the skins have charred, turning 2-3 times during baking. Remove from the oven and cover tightly with aluminum foil. Let sit, covered, for at least 30 minutes, or until the peppers are cool enough to handle. Discard the stems and seeds, and pull of the skin. Cut the peppers into quarters.

In a medium bowl, whisk the oil, vinegar, and garlic together. Season with salt and pepper. Add the roasted peppers and any accumulated juice to the bowl, tossing to coat. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours. 

When ready to assemble, preheat the oven to 400°. Slice the ciabatta in half lengthwise and place cut-side up on a baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes or until lightly toasted. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly. Spread an even layer of goat cheese on both sides of the bread. Sprinkle the basil on the bottom layer. Top with the marinated peppers, shallots, and arugula. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Place the remaining ciabatta half on top. Cut into 4 portions.

Source: adapted from Ina Garten

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