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Best of the Best Tomato, Basil, and Fresh Ricotta Sandwich With

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“From the 'Best of the Best 2008' Cook's Illustrated Cookbook. This recipe is adpated from the Gotham Bar & Grill Cookbook (New York City). This sandwich illustrates how much pleasure can be created with just a few drastically different ingredients. Juicy beefsteak tomatoes and fragrant basil leaves set against the bracing taste of tapenade and cool ricotta cheese - all within the confines of toasted bread. Each bite teases the tastebuds for a long expectant moment before the ingredients begin to register. Don't even think about making this sandwich outside of August or September, when tomatoes are at their juciest, plumpest peak. This sandwich is a great indulgence to bring to the beach, especially since it actually gets better after the flavors have had time to blend. The tapenade, a thick olive paste with anchoves and capers makes a great spread for sandwich and hors d'oeuvres. Salt-packed anchovies are found at Italian and Mediterranean grocers. They are superior to oil-packed canned anchovies. If necessary, substitute 2 oil-packed anchovey fillets for each salt-packed anchovy.”
4 sandwiches

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. For the tapenade, place the anchovies in a small bowl and cover with cold water. Let stand for 10 minutes to remove the salt. Drain.
  2. Using a small knife, lift the anchovy fillets from their bones.
  3. In a food processor, pulse the anchovy fillets with the remaining ingredients until coarsely chopped. Transfer to a small bowl and mix well. Serve at room temperature. Makes about 3/4 cup.
  4. To make each sandwich, spread 1 toasted bread slice with 2 Tablespoons of tampenade.
  5. Cover with a few overlapping tomato slices, drizzle with olive oil, then season with salt and pepper.
  6. Spread with 2 Tablespoons fresh ricotta, season again with salt and pepper, then top with 3 basil leaves.
  7. Top with another slice of toasted bread, then cut in half with a serrated knife.
  8. Variations: Make this into an open-faced sandwich and serve with a bouquet of dressed salad greens. Substitute Roquefort cheese for the ricotta and leave out the tapenade.

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