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There are a few things to think about when making a sandwich: bread type, spread, components and whether you want it toasted, plain or grilled. Sandwiches can be as simple or complex as you like, and there is a lot to consider.
Growing up, I didn’t have a lot of choices; there was peanut butter and jelly, grilled cheese, egg salad, sliced meat or tuna/chicken salad. They were simple, but reliably tasty. Who knew then there was a much bigger sandwich world out there with international gems like the French pan bagnat, the Mexican quesadilla, the Vietnamese banh mi, the Turkish doner kebab or the Israeli falafel.
Many of us Americans like sandwiches with protein like beef, chicken or seafood in-between the bread. However, trends have changed and “anything goes” is the norm. We make sandwiches with tortillas and call them wraps, we use smashed avocado to spread on the bread instead of mayonnaise and we change up reliable proteins with vegetables or meatless proteins to tuck between the bread layers.
I am not a vegetarian, but I eat more than my fair share of green and colorful vegetables. If I am going with a vegetarian dish, I personally prefer non-engineered meat products and go instead for the real deal. Portobello mushrooms are a satisfying substitute to a meat sandwich.
Portobello mushrooms are actually large dark cremini mushrooms, my preference for their rich mushroom flavor. It’s essential to scrape the gills from portobellos before cooking so the marinade won’t turn black. Some taste will be lost, but there will still be plenty of rich mushroom flavor.
Portobellos tend to dry out when they are grilled, so make sure to marinate them for at least an hour before grilling. The portobellos will have an earthy, meaty texture; and when they’re combined with creamy goat cheese, sun-dried tomatoes and fresh basil leaves you’ll have a substantial sandwich.
Make sure to select a round roll like a rustic country sourdough that is large enough to accommodate the portobello mushroom. These sandwiches can be made a few hours ahead and refrigerated until ready to eat. They are also great warm. On the side? Sweet potato chips and some coleslaw would be yummy accompaniments.
Whole grain or French bread round rolls can be substituted for sourdough. Whole grain or French bread round rolls can be substituted for sourdough.
6 fresh portobello mushrooms (about 1 1/2 pounds), stems trimmed
6 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 shallots, minced
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 round country sour dough rolls, sliced in half
1 1/2 cups crumbled goat cheese
24 marinated sun-dried tomato slices
18 basil leaves
1. Trim the mushroom stems. Remove the black gills on the underside of the mushroom cap by scraping with the edge of a teaspoon. The gills need to be removed so their dark color and juices will not leach into the sandwich. Set aside.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together the balsamic vinegar, garlic, shallots, olive oil, salt and pepper. Arrange mushroom caps in a single layer in a shallow, nonaluminum dish and pour 1/2 of the marinade (reserve the rest) over mushrooms. Cover and marinate 1 hour, turning after 1/2 an hour.
3. Heat a lightly oiled grill or grill pan. Remove mushrooms from marinade, place on the hot grill and use a skillet or weight to press down on mushrooms. Sear mushrooms 2 minutes on each side, or until tender. Reserve.
4. Drizzle a tablespoon of reserved dressing on each bread half. Place the mushroom on top of the bread bottom. Layer the goat cheese, sun-dried tomatoes and basil leaves on the other half. Place the halves together. Cut the sandwich in half, wrap in a sandwich bag or foil until serving.
This article is written by Diane Rossen Worthington from Seriously Simple and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the Industry Dive publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.