Vegetarian Recipe: Portabella Phillies

28 Apr

These mushroom-and-pepper sandwiches are so hearty and delicious, you won't even miss the meat.

The last time I shopped at ALDI on anything like a regular basis, I was an impoverished college student living on ramen noodles and mac and cheese.

Ciabatta and portabellas? At ALDI? Apparently I'm not the only one who's grown up a lot in the past decade....

Apparently ALDI’s purchasing people have spent a lot of time watching the Food Network since then, because this afternoon, I walked in and bought all the necessary ingredients for Philly-steak-style portabella mushroom sandwiches on ciabatta bread. In addition to being yummy and loaded with nutrients, these little sandwiches are completely vegetarian and very quick and easy to make. Here’s how you do it:

Start by preheating your oven to 425 degrees so it will be ready to warm the bread. I found a four-pack of ciabatta rolls (loaves? buns?) for $1.69, but if your local store doesn’t have ciabatta, plain old hoagie buns will work just fine.

Red and yellow peppers really dress up a dinner.

While the oven preheats, cut a smallish yellow onion and one or two bell peppers into thin strips. My local ALDI had a package that included a green, a yellow, and a red pepper, so I used half of each pepper to make my sandwiches look pretty. Feel free to substitute plain old green peppers or frozen peppers and onions if you prefer.

Melt a couple of tablespoons of butter in a big skillet or wok and begin cooking the vegetables over a medium-high flame. Once the onions have started to soften and the peppers have begun to change color, add a package of sliced portabella mushrooms to the skillet. If your store doesn’t have portabellas, plain old button mushrooms will stand in just fine.

Mmmm ... sauteed mushrooms!

Put the bread in the now-warm oven and set your kitchen timer for six minutes. While the bread warms up, cook the vegetables until the mushrooms begin to darken and release their moisture. (My husband refers to this as “peeing,” which obviously is exactly what you want your food to be doing while you cook it.)

Take the ciabatta out of the oven. Use a bread knife to split each roll, taking care not to burn your fingers as you work. Lay a slice of Swiss cheese on one side of each roll, top with a fourth of the sauteed vegetables, and add a little salt or mayonnaise if desired. Serve immediately.

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2 Responses to “Vegetarian Recipe: Portabella Phillies”

  1. Linda April 29, 2010 at 3:15 PM #

    Those look pretty good, Em. But I think I’d like to substitute Muenster or maybe Co-jack for the Swiss cheese.

  2. redforkhippie April 29, 2010 at 5:26 PM #

    Muenster or mozzarella would be nice. I opted for Swiss to make them more like a traditional Philly sandwich, but just about any kind of cheese would work.

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