When those days roll around that you’re exhausted and haven’t been to the market in a while, it’s nice to have an ace up your sleeve; or in my case — since sleeves are out of the question when it’s 80° — a meal you can create on auto-pilot. Something I desperately needed this afternoon for lunch.

DSC02470While I wait for an actual tomato to form, I utilized the tinned variety for one of my favorite sandwiches: roasted veg with goat cheese and basil. Elegant enough to serve for guests, yet rustic and casual which is exactly what I crave at home with him.

I’ve made this recipe plenty of times. The beauty of it is that you can work with whatever you’ve got on hand, and you’re guaranteed to come out on top. A simple sandwich with the volume turned up.

DSC02473Roasted veg and goat cheese tartine with basil [serves 2]

Printable recipe

1 medium carrot, peeled and cut lengthwise into 1/4″ strips [with a mandoline]

1/2 small zucchini, cut lengthwise into 1/4″ strips

2 medium thick slices of red onion

1 large garlic clove, paper kept intact

1/4 c tinned tomato, drained well

1 T olive oil

salt and freshly cracked black pepper

dash Hungarian sweet paprika

dash dried red pepper flakes

2-4 oz goat cheese, brought to room temperature — depending on your taste

an 8-12″ length of baguette, halved — depending on your appetite

a small handful fresh basil leaves

Preheat oven to 500° F.

Create a foil ‘boat’ for tomatoes by folding edges of a smallish piece — this is to catch any juices; add tomato and sprinkle with red pepper flakes, salt and a bit of olive oil. Place unpeeled garlic clove in another small piece of foil; drizzle with olive oil and wrap tightly.

Place the tomato boat in one corner of a rimmed sheet pan. Lightly oil the rest of the pan and add the carrot, zucchini and red onion; drizzle very lightly with a bit more olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper and paprika. Stick the garlic packet anywhere it fits. Cook 30 to 40 minutes, or until the vegetables develop a nice golden color. Remove from oven; set aside.

To assemble the tartines, spread each half of the baguette with goat cheese and sprinkle lightly with salt and black pepper. Divide the roasted veg evenly between the two sandwiches, placing all on top of the goat cheese. Place whole basil leaves on top of the veg and serve.

Try this: Ina’s original recipe suggest a roasted red pepper and goat cheese sandwich on ciabatta bread, the peppers marinated in a garlic balsamic caper dressing before adding.

Or this: Play around with the veg and cheese. Add some eggplant and mushrooms to the veg roasting… or really any vegetable you have on hand. If you don’t like or don’t have goat cheese, experiment with Brie, Camembert, blue cheese… ooh, Taleggio or Morbier would be great!

Even this: Fresh prosciutto or Serrano ham between the goat cheese and veg would really turn the volume up!

Adapted from barefoot contessa at home