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Jodi Ambrose

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Darn Good Eats: The Cookbook for Creative Chefs and Reluctant Cooks

Portobello, Pepper and Pesto Sammich

2 large Portobello mushrooms (not sliced)
2 really good sandwich rolls (go to the fresh baked bread aisle at your grocery store and pick out some yummy rolls)
a container of pesto spread (usually found in the refrigerated section)
1 red bell pepper
4 ounces of fresh mozzarella cheese (buffalo mozzarella is by far the best)
2 Tablespoons of butter

Put a little over a Tablespoon of butter in a frying pan and melt it. Put the mushrooms in the frying pan, cover and let them cook slowly over low heat (this usually takes about 30 minutes—make sure to flip them half way through). While those are cooking, melt the rest of the butter in a small sauce pan. Slice the red pepper into long strips about 3/4 of an inch wide. Put the red pepper strips into the butter, cover and let them cook slowly over low heat (they should be ready about the same time as the ‘shrooms). While the veggies are cooking, slice the rolls (if not pre-sliced) and put them in a toaster oven on 275 °F for about 10 minutes (or until they are a little crispy). Once the mushrooms have finished cooking, turn the heat off and put half of the cheese on top of each one (if you turn them upside down in the pan, the mushroom holds the cheese perfectly). Cover the mushrooms and cheese and let the leftover heat in the pan melt the cheese. Spread a thin layer of the pesto over each side of the roll. Take the Portobello and put it on the roll and then put 2 – 3 strips of red pepper on that.

Roasting Red Peppers
Bake the red pepper whole on 375F for 45 – 60 minutes. Place the red pepper right on the oven rack; no need for a cookie sheet or foil. As it cooks, flip it over every 15 minutes or so until it is blistered on the outside. When it comes out of the oven, peel the skin off, slice it up and stick it on the sandwich.


If you want your sandwich to have fewer calories and less fat, you can cook the Portobellos in the oven on 325 ⁰F for about 30 minutes and roast the red pepper in the oven on 375 °F for 45 – 60 minutes.

If you want it to seem like your sandwich has more Portobellos, cheese and red peppers than it does, and you want to save even more calories, either eat the sandwich open-faced or tear out some of the center of the roll.

If you don’t want to heat the house up by turning on the oven to toast the rolls, you can put them in the frying pan after you take the veggies out. This will crisp the edges of the roll and add a nice, buttery flavor.

If you like some extra chew in your sandwich, buy hard rolls. They add a nice texture and really give you something to bite into.

Make sure to cover the veggies as you cook them. It keeps them moist and tender.

The first time you make the sandwich, go easy on the pesto, do a taste test, then add more as needed. Too much pesto can be overwhelming.