I don't know if I've really been cooking more, but I am more inspired to post about food lately. Tonight I made Veggie Pan Bagnat, the cover dish on the July/August 2006 issue of Vegetarian Times. I didn't take pictures because 1) we were hungry and couldn't wait and 2) it was dark. The sandwich looked delicious on the cover, and it used eggplant, which I had sitting on the counter waiting to be used so I got over being weirded out by the hard boiled egg also in the sandwich. I mean it called for tapenade and I love tapenade.
1 medium eggplant, sliced into 1/4" rounds
1/2 lb green beans, trimmed, cooked lightly, rinsed with cool water, drained
1/2 cup roasted peppers, rinsed, drained, cut into 1/2" strips
3 hard boiled eggs, sliced (2 was enough for us)
2 1/2 T tapenade (I used homemade, if you are concerned about veggie look out for tapenades with anchoivies)
1 French baguete, halved lengthwise (we also cut it into individual sandwich size pieces)
1/4 c olive oil (I used 2 T)
2 T red wine vinegar
1 T parsley, coarsley chopped
1 1/2 t shallots, coarsely chopped (who measures this precisely?)
1/2 t dijon mustard
1/2 t sugar
Roast the eggplant slices in the oven at 350 on an oiled baking sheet (sprinkled with salt and pepper and a bit of oil brushed on the up-side of the eggplant), 10 minutes each side. Whirl the vinaigrette ingredients together in a blender. Pull some of the soft insides out of the baguette. Layer the sandwich as follows from the bottom up: tapenade spread on the bread, green beans, roasted peppers, egg, eggplant. Drizzle vinaigrette on the top piece of bread (you are also supposed to brush it on top of the tapenade, oops). At this point the directions recommend pressing the sandwich together and letting it chill for 1 to 4 hours. We did no such thing and it was still delicious, if a bit messy with the vinaigrette dripping and such.
This was a bit more time consuming, which is why I think of it as a dinner sandwich. Of course if I hadn't made the tapenade at the same time it would have been a little easier. Plus you could do stuff like boil the eggs in advance (though I did them while the eggplant cooked). Oh yes, this is supposed to serve 4.
As I said, the inclusion of eggs weirded me out. But I think they really added something to the dish. And now I am envisioning an herbed egg salad sandwich with chunks of lightly cooked green beans in it.
And finally the tapenade: In a food processor I pureed about 1 cup of kalamata olives, a smooshed garlic clove, a bit of fresh parsley, a tablespoon of capers, a couple tablespoons of lemon juice and olive oil.