Vegetables on the Grill: Grilled Portabello Mushroom Sandwiches

| June/July 1999

Grilling brings out the flavor of portabellos, while arugula adds an incomparable smoky flavor. Makes 4 sandwiches.

• 1 large red bell pepper, roasted, peeled, stemmed, seeded and roughly chopped
• 2 cloves garlic
• 1/4 cup packed fresh basil leaves
• 1/4  cup packed fresh Italian parsley leaves
• Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• Olive oil for grilling
• 4 large portabello mushroom caps, brushed clean, stems removed
• 1 medium red or yellow onion, sliced ­crosswise into 4 slices
• Dried thyme sprigs or dried rosemary branches (optional)
• 4 slices Swiss or Gruyère cheese (optional)
• 4 whole wheat or sourdough rolls, split in half
• 1 generous cup arugula leaves, washed and patted dry or substitute spinach or lettuce

1. Roast the bell pepper on the grill, skin and seed. In a food processor, pulse the roasted pepper with the garlic, basil, parsley, salt and pepper to a medium-fine consistency, scraping down the sides as needed. With the motor running, add the olive oil through the feed tube. Taste for salt and pepper and set aside.

2. Brush the mushrooms and onion slices lightly with olive oil on both sides. Throw a handful of dried thyme sprigs or a few branches of rosemary on the fire just before grilling the vegetables. The onion will take a little longer than the mushrooms. Place a slice of cheese on each mushroom just before taking it off the grill. Remove the vegetables to a plate and season them with salt and pepper. Lightly grill both sides of the rolls.

3. Spread both halves of each roll with the red pepper sauce. Layer the lower half with a mushroom, an onion slice separated into rings, and the arugula. Cover with the upper half of the roll. Serve immediately.

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