Chef's Recipes

Thomas Keller: Toasted vegetable jardinière

Australian Gourmet Traveller recipe for toasted vegetable jardinière by Thomas Keller from The French Laundry and Per Se.

By Thomas Keller
  • Serves 2
  • 15 mins preparation
  • 1 hr cooking plus standing, cooling
Thomas Keller: Toasted vegetable jardinière
Thomas Keller: Toasted vegetable jardinière

The vegetables should have a good, soft texture but the bread should have some bite to it.


  • 1 small eggplant, thinly sliced
  • 60 gm (2 small) portobello mushrooms
  • 1 small fennel bulb, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for brushing and drizzling
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp Chardonnay vinegar
  • 1 tsp finely chopped thyme
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 60 gm shop-bought roast red capsicum, thickly sliced
  • 4 multi-grain bread slices, to serve
  • 60 gm thinly sliced Gruyère, to serve
Rocket purée
  • 250 gm wild rocket, picked
  • 25 ml extra-virgin olive oil


  • 1
    Preheat oven to 190C. Arrange eggplant in a single layer in a non-reactive dish. Scatter with 20gm fine sea salt and stand to drain bitter juices (1 hour). Drain, rinse and set aside.
  • 2
    Place eggplant, mushrooms and fennel on a baking paper-lined oven tray, brush with oil, season to taste and roast until tender (20–25 minutes).
  • 3
    Combine onion, vinegar, thyme, garlic and oil on a baking paper-lined roasting tray, season to taste, cover with foil, roast until tender (20-30 minutes) and cool.
  • 4
    Meanwhile, for rocket purée, blanch rocket (5-10 seconds), then refresh. Drain well, squeeze out excess moisture, then process in a small food processor until finely chopped (1 minute). With the motor running, slowly add oil and process until a fine paste forms, season to taste and refrigerate until required.
  • 5
    Preheat a sandwich press to medium heat, spread two bread slices with rocket purée, layer with roast vegetables and Gruyère, season to taste and top with remaining bread slices. Drizzle sandwich with oil and toast until golden (3-4 minutes), serve immediately.


Drink Suggestion: A young, savoury sangiovese. Drink suggestion by Max Allen

  • Author: Thomas Keller