The absolut veggie sandwich. Juicy, meaty mushrooms, marinated and grilled, served on a bed of rocket and topped with sweet red peppers, fresh mozzarella and pesto. You can turn this recipe into mushroom burgers by using individual burger buns instead of one giant french bread. I’m not a vegetarian but I would choose this over meat any day.
- About 6 portobello mushrooms
- 10 sweet red peppers (I used the long, thin variety as they are easy to find locally. You can use red bell peppers as a substitute but you might need less than ten. If you have leftovers, store them in a jar, covered in olive oil. Alternatively, you can use store-bought.)
- 1 cup olive oil plus extra for brushing the peppers
- 4 Tbs balsamic vinegar
- 1 garlic clove, bruised
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 4 Tbs basill pesto
- 125 grams fresh mozzarella
- about 1 cup rocket leaves
- a pinch of chilli flakes
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- One large, crusty french bread or ciapatta bread (or any other bread you like), split in half horizontally
Light the grill on high. Brush the peppers liberally with olive oil. Grill over high heat, turning occasionally, until their skin is blistered and dark in colour, and flesh is soft, about 10 minutes. Put them in a glass bowl and cover immediately with plastic wrap. The steam will soften the skin and it will be easier to remove.
Clean mushrooms by using a teaspoon to scrub away their gills. In a shallow glass dish add ½ cup olive oil, 2 Tbs balsamic vinegar and the garlic clove. Add mushrooms, gill side down and let them marinate for 10-15 minutes.
When the peppers are cool, peel and discard the skin. Cut them in half and discard the seeds. Put them in a clean bowl and drizzle with the other ½ cup olive oil, the remaining 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar and dried oregano.
Lower the heat to medium and grill the mushrooms, 3-4 minutes on each side. Use a brush to baste the mushrooms with their marinade.
Assemble the sandwich. Spread both cut sides of the bread with 3 tablespoons of the basil pesto. Lay the rocket leaves on one side and top with the mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle the chilli flakes. Top with the roasted peppers afresh mozzarella slices. Using a small spoon spread the remaining pesto over the mozzarella. Cut in thick slices and serve.