Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Avocado Sandwich With Lemon-Ricotta

Avocado Sandwich With Lemon-Ricotta recipe

This recipe is one of my all-time favorite vegetarian sandwiches. It's adapted from Gabrielle Hamilton, now a national name but previously just a chef turning out miracles at one of my most cherished {and charming and tiny} NYC restaurants, Prune. This sandwich epitomizes her style: inventive yet straight-forward and decidedly unfancy. Fresh bread gets a slathering of ricotta cheese dressed with lemon zest, olive oil and seasoning. Avocado, tomato and onion follow. The sandwich is finished with poppy seeds, sesame seeds and preserved lemon. It's a refreshing and substantial lunch with ingredients that work incredibly well together.

With a freshly baked boule calling my name at today's farmer's market and ricotta cheese unattached to a game plan in my refrigerator...well I had to make this sandwich today for lunch. Here's proof of how good it is. Mr. SSS loathes avocado and he loves this sandwich.

{Note: resist the temptation to skip the preserved lemon. If homemade preserved lemons are not your thing, you can purchase them.  I get mine at Tehran market in Santa Monica but you can also purchase them at Williams-Sonoma}.

Avocado Sandwich With Lemon-Ricotta

15 oz fresh ricotta
zest of two lemons
4 T olive oil + 4 t olive oil
2 pinches kosher salt
1 pinch freshly ground black pepper
4 long slices of fresh bread {boule works well}
2 ripe Haas avocados
16 cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half {or more to your linking}
8 pearl onions sliced {I used 4 slices of sweet yellow onion}
4 t toasted sesame seeds
1/2 t toasted poppy seeds
skin of 1 small preserved lemon, minced

Mix the ricotta with the lemon zest, 4 T olive oil and salt and pepper. Set aside.  

Arrange slices of bread on a work surface. Divide the ricotta among the bread and spread into a generous, even layer. If the layer of ricotta is a dizzying height, you are on the right track.

Slice the avocados in half and remove the pits. Slice each half into 4 slivers and remove with a knife or soup spoon. Arrange the avocado slices on top of each bread slice. Arrange tomatoes and then onion on top. Garnish each sandwich with the seeds and preserved lemon. Transfer to plates and drizzle with remaining 4 t olive oil.

Serves 4.
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Source: Adapted from House Beautiful, Gabrielle Hamilton

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