Sunday, July 29, 2012

Sunday Lunch? Sunday Brunch?

I found this recipe in House Beautiful magazine last week, and decided to take it for a test drive last night for dinner. It was terrific and delicious, but at the end of the meal, John and I both agreed that while filling, it was really more appropriate for "lunch" than "dinner". To each their own: If you want to eat it for dinner too, I won't judge. I confess, I was initially attracted to the recipe as much by the food photography as I was by the ingredients, but having now made this tasty "zesty summer sandwich" , it tastes as good as it looks. (Though admittedly, ours did not look as perfectly picturesque as the version depicted by the people at House Beautiful. How do they do that???) 

Enjoy... Easy as pie, virtually no cooking (we toasted the bread) and it takes about 10 minutes to prepare. What's not to like? 


Serves 4
1 pound (scant 2 cups) fresh ricotta
Zest of 2 lemons
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus 4 teaspoons for drizzling
2 pinches coarse kosher salt
1 pinch ground black pepper
4 long, even slices of very good bread
2 large, perfectly ripe avocados (approximately 18 ounces), at room temperature
1 pint mixed-color grape tomatoes, cut in half horizontally (you won't use quite the entire pint)
8 red pearl onions equaling 2-3 ounces, thinly sliced into rounds (or equivalent in thinly sliced red onion)
4 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
Skin of 1 preserved lemon, flesh removed, finely diced
½ teaspoon toasted poppy seeds


1. Mix the ricotta with the lemon zest, ¼ cup olive oil, and salt and pepper, and set aside.
2. Arrange slices of bread on a cutting board and divide the ricotta mixture evenly among the four slices. Spread into a generous even layer.
3. Split the avocados, remove the pits, and slice each half into even slices without cutting all the way through the leathery skin. Then, with a soup spoon or a flexible rubber spatula, release the flesh and arrange the slices neatly and evenly among the bread slices.
4. Artfully and attractively arrange the tomatoes by nesting them into the soft avocado. Then arrange the red onion slices over the tomatoes.
5. Garnish each sandwich with the sesame seeds, the preserved lemon skin, and finally, the poppy seeds. Transfer to plates and drizzle with olive oil.
NOTE: We didn't have "preserved lemon", or its skin, on hand, so we skipped that step, but otherwise we made this pretty much verbatim. A resounding success and a delicious meal, even if it was a little "caj" for dinnertime. I'm thinking this could be everybody's lunch for today!

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