Mar 06 2014

Broccolini, Provolone and Portobello Sandwiches

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.

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 Broccolini

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…

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The Ingredients:

  • 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

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Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400° F.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.

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Lots of garlic… we actually upped the clove count from 6 to 8.

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Mushrooms sauteing in the pan with balsamic vinegar…

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Bread pieces drizzled with olive oil and ready to go into the oven for baking.

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Mushrooms loaded on as the first layer after the initial bread toasting session.

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Broccolini and roasted red peppers were next…

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Provolone cheese toppers before heading back into the oven for the second time.

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Incredible, out of this world, OMG, mouth watering… all of those things for sure.

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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.
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