Is Spring in the air or what? Even if you’ve never been to Paris at this time of year, you can experience one of the city’s great pleasures by making these yummy baguette sandwiches, with fresh goat cheese, naturally!
1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line two 17 x 12-inch sheet pans with parchment paper.
2. Wash and trim the eggplant and the tomatoes. Slice each kind of vegetable cross¬wise about 1/4-inch thick, into 12 slices. Place the eggplant slices on one prepared sheet pan and the tomato slices on the other. Brush the eggplant slices with 2 1/2 tablespoons of the olive oil, and the tomatoes with 1/2 tablespoon of the olive oil and season them with salt and pepper. Roast the vegetables in the oven until they begin to brown and become somewhat dehydrated, the tomatoes about 25 minutes, and the eggplant about 45 minutes. Place the pans on wire racks to cool.
3. Make the olive tapenade: With a mortar and pestle or food processor, grind the olives and garlic together. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and blend to make a smooth paste.
4. Slice the goat cheese into twelve 3/8-inch-thick slices, about 20 grams/3/4 ounce each, and top each slice with a few leaves and leaf clusters of fresh thyme.
5. To assemble the sandwich, cut the French Baguette(s) into 4 equal lengths. Slice the pieces in half lengthwise. Place the bottom half of each sandwich on the work surface and spread it with about one quarter of the olive tapenade. Place 3 slices of goat cheese on each base. Top the cheese with 3 slices of roasted eggplant and 3 slices of roasted tomato. Place the top half of the bread on each sandwich. Serve at room temperature, or toast lightly in a toaster oven to begin to melt the cheese.
Thanks to Amy’s Bread. One of her bakeries is right next to Murray’s Cheese in Greenwich Village– what could be better than that??