March 31, 2010

Portobello mushroom paninis

Making vegetarian meals is something we try to incorporate into our week at least a couple of times. This sandwich is a really easy and very tasty. I bought the ciabatta bread from the bakery, so I cheated in that sense... You can put any combination of veggies that you like on this sandwich, but this combination is one of my favorites. If you have a panini press, you can use that. I use a grill pan and then place a heavy skillet on top of the sandwiches to weigh them down and get nice grill marks. This made two sandwiches (with some left over for a small sandwich the next day).

Portobello mushroom paninis
ciabatta bread, cut into sandwich sized pieces and halved lengthwise
2 portobello mushroom caps
roasted red peppers (you can make these yourself or get them from a jar)
fresh mozzarella
half of a small red onion, thinly sliced into rings
two handfuls of fresh baby arugula (or spinach)
about 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
about 2 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 cloves garlic
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

In a food processor, add the basil, lemon, garlic, salt, and pepper and pulse to combine. Slowly add the olive oil until it's well blended and smooth. Spray the grill pan with some cooking spray or olive oil and pre-heat the pan. Grill the mushroom caps and onions until soft. Then place the bottom of each sandwich on the pan. Top with bread with the basil olive oil. Then add a layer of the fresh mozzarella, roasted red peppers, the mushroom cap, and onion (in any order you like). Put the top piece of bread on and then press down with the heavy skillet. Flip the sandwiches over when the cheese begins to melt and the bread turns golden and gets grill lines. Once the other side is golden, remove the sandwich. Remove the top and add the arugula before serving.

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