When I got my January/February 2014 Vegetarian Times magazine, I knew I had to make their Philly Style Sandwiches. They highlighted Broccoli Raab in the issue, but after 2 stores, Carolyn and I decided to go with broccolini. I know I can get it at the farmer’s market, the co-op or a few other local stores, but we had a lot to accomplish and driving from store to store wasn’t part of our plan. We adapted a few other things in the recipe as well. Those are noted below.
Broccolini is the trademarked name of a broccoli-and-Chinese broccoli hybrid. It has thin, tender stems topped with small budded clusters and a flavor some liken to asparagus. I’ve always referred to it as baby broccoli, which is wrong… but I still do it. Such a veggie rebel.
Chinese Broccoli (aka Chinese kale) has thicker stems and paddle-shaped blue-green leaves with a sweet taste.
Broccoli Raab is a member of the turnip family. It has many serrated leaves that surround clusters of buds that resemble small heads of broccoli. I find it to be more bitter compared to Chinese broccoli and broccolini.
So now that we’re finished with your Broccoli 101 course…
- 1 lb. Broccolini – we only used 1 of the bunches
- 3-4 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1-2 Teaspoons Red Pepper Flakes – could be less or more, your call on the heat
- 6-8 Cloves of Garlic – minced – about 2 Tablespoons
- 1 Cup Chopped Roasted Red Peppers - we used peppers with balsamic vinegar
- 4 Large Portobello Mushrooms – rough chopped
- 1-2 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
- 1 Loaf of Crusty Bread
- 4 Slices Provolone Cheese
- Preheat oven to 400° F.
- Bring several inches of water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add the broccolini, cover pan and cook 3-4 minutes, turn with tongs and cook for additional 3-4 minutes. Drain, pat dry with papertowels and then coarsely chop.
- Heat 2 1/2 Tablespoons oil in nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add red pepper flakes and broccolini and saute 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in garlic, then roasted peppers and saute for a minute more. Transfer to a plate or bowl.
- Wipe out skillet (skipped that part) and heat remaining 1 1/2 Teaspoon oil over medium-high heat. We used more… add mushrooms and saute for 5-6 minutes. Stir in balsamic vinegar and cook for 2 minutes more or until liquid has evaporated. We ended up adding several additional splashes of balsamic vinegar to the pan.
- Toast bread pieces 6 minutes on baking sheet in oven. We gave each piece a good dose of olive oil before putting them into the oven.
- Divide portobello mushrooms and broccolini among bread bottoms, then top each with 2 cheese half-moons. Return loaded sandwich bottoms to oven and bake until cheese melts. Place tops over sandwiches and serve.
Lots of garlic… we actually upped the clove count from 6 to 8.
Mushrooms sauteing in the pan with balsamic vinegar…
Bread pieces drizzled with olive oil and ready to go into the oven for baking.
Mushrooms loaded on as the first layer after the initial bread toasting session.
Broccolini and roasted red peppers were next…
Provolone cheese toppers before heading back into the oven for the second time.
Incredible, out of this world, OMG, mouth watering… all of those things for sure.
This is my new favorite sandwich. No joke. I’m actually counting down the days until I have all the ingredients on hand again to recreate these.
So yes, a total recipe success! Simple for the most part and a great addition to meatless meal options. Thank you Carolyn for allowing me once again to mess up your kitchen. Another fun blogging adventure between friends. I promised I would get back to cooking and blogging and so far so good. I’m enjoying my happy place once again.