Recipe for grilled portobello mushroom and goat cheese sandwich with smoked pepper spread
When my husband Ted and I acquired a panini press last year, we spent the first few months smooshing anything we could find into beautiful, Italian-style flat sandwiches. (Easier and more sanitary than running over them with the car, but you get the idea.) Later, influenced by the wonderful Panini Happy blog, we began to consider the panini press as a more versatile kitchen tool. With the addition of waffle plates, we celebrated our first Wafflepalooza last summer, but overall it's the grill plates that get the most workout. For dishes like this portobello mushroom and goat cheese sandwich, the panini press is perfect. It holds four burger-size mushroom caps, and cooks and flattens them in minutes. No heating of the grill or broiler, though either would give the mushrooms the "meaty" flavor that tricks carnivores into thinking they're really eating hamburgers. Use the freshest goat cheese you can find (my friend Christine's creamy homemade chevre paired so well with the mushrooms), and don't skip the smoked pepper spread that sets this sandwich apart.
Grilled portobello mushroom and goat cheese sandwich with smoked pepper spread
Makes 4 sandwiches.
For the spread:
3 Tbsp mayonnaise
1 Tbsp ketchup
1 tsp fresh chopped thyme or parsley leaves
1/4 tsp piment d'Espelette (or smoked paprika)
2-4 drops Sriracha sauce, to taste
Pinch of kosher salt
For the sandwiches:
8 slices crusty bread
4 portobello mushroom caps
2 Tbsp olive oil
Kosher salt and fresh black pepper
4 tsp goat cheese
4 1/4-inch slices ripe tomato
1 cup baby arugula leaves
Whisk together all of the spread ingredients in a small mixing bowl. Cover, and refrigerate until ready to use (can be made a day ahead).
Heat a panini press or stovetop grill pan, or an outdoor grill. When the pan is hot, toast the bread until light grill marks appear. Remove and set aside.
Paint the mushroom caps on both sides with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place in your panini press (or grill pan, weighted down slightly with a brick wrapped in aluminum foil, or with a second cast iron pan), and grill for 4 minutes, or until the mushrooms are flattened and cooked through. Remove from the press or grill and set aside.
Assemble the sandwiches: Spread one side of 4 slices of bread with goat cheese. Spread one side of the other 4 slices with the smoked pepper spread. Divide the arugula between the 4 sandwiches, on top of the goat cheese. Top the arugula with the mushrooms and tomato slices. Close the sandwiches, press down slightly, and cut in half with a serrated bread knife.
Serve at room temperature, or let cool slightly, then wrap the sandwiches in plastic wrap and chill to serve later.
More recipes in The Perfect Pantry:
Grilled vegetable and goat cheese puff pastry tart with zucchini, mushrooms, peppers and onions
Goat cheese olive empanadas
Tomato and goat cheese bruschetta
White bean dip (or sandwich spread) with goat cheese and herbes de Provence
Goat cheese and olive stuffed peppers
Other recipes that use these pantry ingredients:
Smoked salmon and spinach goat cheese strata, from Gluten-free Goddess
Baked crab Rangoon, from My Baking Addiction
Portobello mushrooms stuffed with goat cheese, tomatoes and bacon, from How to: Simplify
Mushroom and goat cheese quesadilla, from Albion Cooks
Rotini with portobello mushrooms, caramelized onions, and goat cheese, from Big Flavors from a Tiny Kitchen