I didn’t really like sandwiches as a kid. Only when I was first living on my own in Los Angeles did I realize their merit. So many options!
This summer I started doing picnics for the Cinespia series at Hollywood Forever on Saturdays. My menus play with the film that is screening and use what’s freshest at the market that week. I included this for the Casablanca menu and paired it with a spicy orange salad recipe I found in the New York Times archives. This sandwich sounds crazy, but you’ll love it. It was a hit with my guests.
Moroccan carrot and goat cheese sandwiches
- 3 tablespoons agave nectar
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons sweet paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup olive oil, plus 2 tablespoons
- 8 carrots
- 6 oz pitted calamata olives
- 1/8 cup chopped Italian parsley
- 3/4 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup soft goat cheese
- mini pita breads
Whisk together agave, lemon, spices, salt and oil in a large bowl until all is incorporated.
Halve carrots into two lengths, and using a slicer cut into 1/16-inch-thick pieces. Cook carrots in a large pot of well-salted water until crisp-tender, about 45 seconds. Drain and immediately toss in spice marinade. Allow to cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally. Marinate carrots covered and refrigerated for at least 6 hours, tossing gently every so often. Carrots can marinate for 2 days.
Coarsely chop olives, parsely, and lemon juice in a food processor. Scrape down the sides, and then slowly add remaining olive oil in a slow stream until finely chopped. Do not puree, a little texture is important here. You can skip this and do the quick cheat by buying a jar of tapenade and just upgrading it a little with the lemon and parsley.
Slice open 1/3 of each side of the pitas. Spread olive tapenade and goat cheese inside of each pita. Fill each pocket with a few carrots. This part is a little messy, I won’t lie. I’ve tried using tongs or a fork, but fingers are best for evenly placing carrots in the sandwich. Leftover carrots are great on a bed of greens.