August is National Sandwich Month

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.

Trust me. So fresh and delicious!

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.

Serves 6

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