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Asparagus Sandwich with Roasted Red Pepper, Fresh Mozzarella, Pancetta,
and Lemon Aioli

1/2 tsp. finely chopped lemon zest
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, chopped finely
1/8 tsp. salt
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 Tbsp. olive oil
8 squares focaccia bread, about 5 x 5 inches (4 rectangular sandwich rolls, split, with about the same surface area can be substituted)
1-1/2 cups (lightly packed) baby arugula leaves or baby lettuces
1 cup julienned well-drained roasted sweet red bell pepper
8 oz. fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced about 1/4-inch thick
16 fresh jumbo asparagus spears, cooked fork tender
4 slices (about 1/8-inch thick) pancetta, cooked almost crisp, cut or broken into 2- to 3-inch lengths (8 slices cooked thick bacon can be substituted)


Make sure all ingredients are at room temperature before proceeding. To make Lemon Aioli, whisk together lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, and salt; whisk in mayonnaise and oil. Spread smooth side of each square focaccia with a generous 1/2 Tbsp. aioli. Divide remaining ingredients among 4 squares focaccia, layered in the order listed. Top with remaining 4 squares focaccia. Cut each sandwich in half into two triangles. Sandwiches can be served at room temperature. They can be or warmed for a few minutes in the oven at 450°F. (Sandwiches should not be hot.) Serves 4.

 


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