I don’t write about sandwiches often enough – funny for a blog with the word sandwiches in the name. Truth is, I’m really picky about sandwiches and I’m often disappointed with a plain ol’ sandwich. However, when I spied a nice looking portabella mushroom cap at my local Saturday morning farmers market, I knew it was destined to turn into a mighty fine sandwich.
One of the great things about portabella mushrooms is that they are very meaty and even people who can get squeamish about mushrooms will usually love these giant caps. Just remember to remove the dark and muddy gills from the underside of the mushroom (think of it as a fungus Brazilian – a mushzilian, if you will). The gills generally just make things muddy and don’t have much in the way of nutritional value. Once prepped, the mushroom soaks up the garlicky marinade, giving the ‘shroom great flavour. Add some grilled red onions and a quick rosemary-garlic mayo and this sandwich makes for one killer lunch.
Because apartment balconies and fire do not mix very well, I use my beautiful Le Creuset cast iron grill pan which creates those coveted grill marks and helps to give that bbq taste. If you don’t have a grill pan, a cast iron skillet works just as well (minus the grill marks, of course). Want to make this meal gluten-free? Use your favorite g-f bread.
garlicky grilled portabella sandwich
1 large portabella mushroom
2 T olive oil
1 T balsamic vinegar
1 fat clove garlic, minced
salt & pepper
1/4 red onion, sliced
2 thick slices of your favorite rustic bread
1 small ball of fresh mozzarella (bocconcini), sliced
a thick schmear of garlic-rosemary aioli
quick garlic-rosemary aioli
2 T ready-made mayonnaise (store bought is fine)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 T fresh rosemary, minced
1. Prep your mushroom by using the tip of a spoon to scrape off the dark gills on the underside of the mushroom. Remove, peel and slice the stem.
2. In a bowl, combine the oil, vinegar, garlic and a sprinkle of salt & pepper. Add the mushroom top and stems, along with the red onion slices into this mixture and let sit for 5 minutes. Flip and repeat.
3. Wipe your grill pan with additional oil (if needed) and heat over med-high. When hot, add the mushroom cap, stem slices, and red onion, and grill for about 3 minutes per side, brushing with any additional marinade. Remove portabella and slice into thick slices.
4. Toast bread under a broiler. When toasted, spread aioli on bread, add mushroom and red onion slices to one side and top with slices of fresh mozzarella. Return to broiler to melt – about 1 minute. Remove from broiler, top with fresh lettuce and the remaining aioli-smeared toasted bread. Makes one sandwich.