Asparagus & Ricotta Sandwich with Arugula, Almond & Fennel Salad

Asparagus & Ricotta Sandwich

with Arugula, Almond & Fennel Salad

30 MIN
2 Servings
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From the Test Kitchen

Let’s make sandwiches for dinner! We’ve got the perfect filling—light, yet hearty—for toasty ciabatta rolls. Because spring vegetables and silky ricotta pair so effortlessly, we’re featuring them here: warm, sautéed asparagus and fennel are completed by a savory, tangy spread of ricotta, Parmesan, Kalamata olives and lemon zest. We love this array of classic, complementary flavors—and all the crunchy textures, too.

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  • Nutrition
    PER SERVING
  • Calories
    700 Cals (est.)
fresh
ingredients
Asparagus & Ricotta Sandwich with Arugula, Almond & Fennel Salad
Title
time-saving
tips & techniques
Prepare the ingredients:
1 Prepare the ingredients:

Wash and dry the fresh produce. Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Halve the rolls. Peel the garlic. Mince 1 clove; leave the other whole. Cut off and discard the fennel stems; halve, core and thinly slice the bulb. Snap off and discard the woody stem ends of the asparagus; slice the asparagus into ¼-inch pieces. Using a peeler, remove the yellow rind of the lemon, avoiding the white pith; mince the rind to get 2 teaspoons of zest (or use a zester). Quarter and deseed the lemon. Using the flat side of your knife, smash the olives; remove and discard the pits. Roughly chop the olives.

Make the ricotta mixture & vinaigrette:
2 Make the ricotta mixture & vinaigrette:

In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, lemon zest and olives; stir to thoroughly combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside. In a small bowl, combine the mustard and the juice of all 4 lemon wedges; season with salt and pepper. Slowly whisk in 2½ tablespoons of olive oil until thoroughly combined. Set aside.

Cook the asparagus & fennel:
3 Cook the asparagus & fennel:

In a medium pan, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium until hot. Add the minced garlic; cook, stirring frequently, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until fragrant. Add the asparagus and half the fennel; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 4 minutes, or until tender. Turn off the heat; stir in 1 tablespoon of the vinaigrette. Set aside.

Toast the rolls:
4 Toast the rolls:

Place the rolls on a sheet pan, cut sides up. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toast in the oven 4 to 6 minutes, or until lightly browned around the edges and crispy. When cool enough to handle, rub the cut sides with the whole garlic clove. Discard the garlic clove. Transfer the rolls to a clean, dry work surface.

Assemble the sandwiches:
5 Assemble the sandwiches:

Spread the bottom of each toasted roll with half the ricotta mixture. Divide the cooked asparagus and fennel between the roll bottoms. Top with a few arugula leaves (reserving the rest for the salad) and the top of the roll.

Make the salad & plate your dish:
6 Make the salad & plate your dish:

In a large bowl, combine the almonds, raw fennel, remaining arugula and enough of the remaining vinaigrette to coat the salad (you may have extra vinaigrette); toss to thoroughly combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Slice each sandwich in half diagonally. Divide the salad and sliced sandwiches between 2 plates. Enjoy!

Tips from Home Chefs

1 Prepare the ingredients:

Wash and dry the fresh produce. Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Halve the rolls. Peel the garlic. Mince 1 clove; leave the other whole. Cut off and discard the fennel stems; halve, core and thinly slice the bulb. Snap off and discard the woody stem ends of the asparagus; slice the asparagus into ¼-inch pieces. Using a peeler, remove the yellow rind of the lemon, avoiding the white pith; mince the rind to get 2 teaspoons of zest (or use a zester). Quarter and deseed the lemon. Using the flat side of your knife, smash the olives; remove and discard the pits. Roughly chop the olives.

2 Make the ricotta mixture & vinaigrette:

In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, lemon zest and olives; stir to thoroughly combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside. In a small bowl, combine the mustard and the juice of all 4 lemon wedges; season with salt and pepper. Slowly whisk in 2½ tablespoons of olive oil until thoroughly combined. Set aside.

Make the ricotta mixture & vinaigrette:
Cook the asparagus & fennel:
3 Cook the asparagus & fennel:

In a medium pan, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium until hot. Add the minced garlic; cook, stirring frequently, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until fragrant. Add the asparagus and half the fennel; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 4 minutes, or until tender. Turn off the heat; stir in 1 tablespoon of the vinaigrette. Set aside.

4 Toast the rolls:

Place the rolls on a sheet pan, cut sides up. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toast in the oven 4 to 6 minutes, or until lightly browned around the edges and crispy. When cool enough to handle, rub the cut sides with the whole garlic clove. Discard the garlic clove. Transfer the rolls to a clean, dry work surface.

Toast the rolls:
Assemble the sandwiches:
5 Assemble the sandwiches:

Spread the bottom of each toasted roll with half the ricotta mixture. Divide the cooked asparagus and fennel between the roll bottoms. Top with a few arugula leaves (reserving the rest for the salad) and the top of the roll.

6 Make the salad & plate your dish:

In a large bowl, combine the almonds, raw fennel, remaining arugula and enough of the remaining vinaigrette to coat the salad (you may have extra vinaigrette); toss to thoroughly combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Slice each sandwich in half diagonally. Divide the salad and sliced sandwiches between 2 plates. Enjoy!

Make the salad & plate your dish:
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