Portabella Mushroom Sandwich

From June 1, 2004: i love portabella mushrooms. they are very earthy, hearty, and a great meat substitute. one of my favorite ways to eat portabellas is by making a sandwich with them.

for the sandwich: clean the mushroom (you can remove the gills, but i usually don’t) and then marinate it in olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, italian herbs, salt, and pepper. while the mushroom marinates, prepare the rest of the ingredients – slice tomatoes, wash baby spinach leaves, toast some sort of artisan-type bread (sourdough is my favorite, a crusty boule bread is in close second) and prepare a dressing..

sometimes i dress the sandwich with a brown mustard, other times (depending on motivation and mood) i prepare a sun-dried tomato mayonaise. for the sun-dried tomato mayo,  reconstitute sun-dried tomatoes in warm water until soft. finely chop and add to a bit of spectrum canola oil mayonaise along with salt and pepper.

once all the ingredients are prepared,  grill both sides of the mushroom in a hot grill pan on the stove. when it is cooked through and tender,  remove the mushroom and slice (sometimes i leave it whole depending on the shape of the bread).

to assemble the sandwich:  spread some mustard or sun-dried tomato mayo on the toasted bread, layer the mushrooms on top of the slice and then top with spinach and sliced tomatoes. i like to drizzle a little of the marinade on top of the veggies before adding the top piece of bread.

this sandwich is messy to eat, so make sure you have lots of napkins!

Roasted Vegetable Paninis

Roasted Vegetable Paninis

veggie panini

These roasted vegetable paninis are fantastic!

I marinated sliced yellow squash, red onion, and white mushrooms in olive oil and balsamic vinegar seasoned with salt, pepper, and Italian herbs. I grilled the veggies in a grill pan and then removed them to a plate. then I put thick slices of rustic Tuscan style bread in the grill pan. When the first side was good and toasted, I turned the bread over and layered mozzarella cheese, the grilled vegetables, fresh baby spinach, sliced Roma tomatoes, and the other slice of bread. I smashed the sandwich down while it was in the grill pan in order to meld the flavors and turned it once to make sure the other side got good and toasty too. Once the cheese was melted, I took the sandwich off the grill and served it with homemade Italian vegetable soup.