Well, clearly this will not be winning any beauty contests but I want to start the month focusing on my commitment to vegetables and I was really thrilled with this impromptu tartine. This is a version of Refrigerator Rescue. The roasted vegetable medley that sits atop slices of day old Semifreddi loaf toasts and gooey good Carmody cheese, began as small assortment of vegetables I collected the other day from the market where I work. I have come to refer to these particular hauls as Gifts from the Grey Box, culled produce that has been pulled from the market. I wish I'd gotten a picture of the box this day because it really was a sight to behold. A large grey plastic storage box, the kind with an interlocking flip lid, sits propped on its side on a small counter top next to the time clock. Bunny, one of our produce goddesses, had created a gorgeous still life contained within the stage set of the box. I felt a wee wave of guilt disturbing the scene, but I did so for the greater good.
My cast of characters included:
2 small Japanese eggplant
3 purple carrots
a tiny bunch of broccoli
1 jimmy nardelo pepper (a sweet frying pepper)
2 small zucchini
As soon as I got in the front door I turned on the oven, ditched my coat, kicked off my shoes, grabbed my apron and unloaded my haul. I sliced everything up to about 3/8" thick slices and spread it all out onto 2 parchment lined baking sheets, drizzled and brushed it all with olive oil, sprinkled a bit of sea salt and a several grinds of pepper.
Now my roasting technique is a work in progress. I am more and more inclined to go low and slow, but have yet to employ this method with eggplant and carrots on the same baking sheet. This batch went into a 400 degree oven for 30 minutes. I tossed everything around, switched the baking sheets around and set the timer for another 15 minutes. Things got dark, but I absolutely loved the slightly crispy edge that it gave everything and the flavors were all pretty damned tasty.
I ended up with about 4 cups of roasted vegetables. The next morning, half got chopped up and tossed into a fried rice & quinoa bowl topped with a poached egg and later on, lunch was this tartine.
Dijon mustard and shredded parmesan is stirred into soft butter and then spread onto the sliced bread, then placed butter side down into a hot skillet. Lay thin slices of cheese onto the bread. I found that I can control the cheese better when I use a vegetable peeler to shave the cheese and carefully place the shards onto the bread-I used to grate the cheese but no matter how hard I tried, I'd end up with melted cheese glued to my skillet. I've started using better cheeses and that just won't do anymore.
For this tartine, I used Bellewether Farms Carmody cheese, a semi-soft buttery table cheese. For my grilled cheese type sandwiches and tartines, I like to finish the melting in the broiler, so when the bread is all golden toasty on the bottom, move the whole skillet (if it's oven-proof) into the oven/broiler or transfer the toasts onto a broiler proof baking pan. I like the cheese a little browned on top. This only takes about 2-4 minutes depending on your broiler so stand guard.
Remove it from the broiler and lay your vegetables on top, pressing a little so they sink into the cheese. Sprinkle with a little grated parmesan and place it back in the broiler for another minute to melt the parmesan.