Panino di Portobello
This Italian sandwich is filled with sautéed spinach, grilled portobello mushrooms, sweet red peppers and Parmesan cheese.
1 pound tender spinach, baby spinach or other young greens are best
1 small bunch fresh thyme, leaves only, finely chopped (can substitute 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme)
4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
4 portobello mushroom caps, cleaned
2 red bell peppers, cut in half lengthwise, stems and tough white ribs removed (can substitute pimentos or jarred roasted red peppers)
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, added to taste
Thickly sliced Italian bread or rolls of your choice
4 ounces Italian Parmesan (Parmigiano Reggiano best), shaved or grated
- Put the spinach in a saucepan with just the water clinging to its leaves, add a pinch of salt, cover and cook over medium heat just until tender. Drain well and set aside.
- Heat a charcoal or gas grill or alternatively preheat oven broiler to 500°F (260°C) to broil the vegetables.
- Mix together the chopped thyme and garlic in a small bowl. Stuff the herb mixture into the black gills on the underside of the mushrooms caps.
- Brush the mushrooms and bell peppers with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
- Place on hot grill or under preheated broiler and cook, turning occasionally until the mushrooms are tender and the peppers are nicely charred on all sides and have begun to soften.
- Place hot charred peppers in a paper or plastic bag and close so the humidity accumulated will loosen blackened skin. Remove skin completely (but do not rinse with water.)
- To Assemble Panini: Drizzle oil liberally over the bread slices or rolls. Layer the braised greens, grilled mushrooms and peppers on half of the bread or the bottom of the rolls. Top with Parmesan cheese and the remaining bread or tops of the rolls. Cut in half and serve.
Makes 4 panini.