In 2005, we enjoyed a fantastic portabella sandwich at a little bistro called The Village Corner in the beautiful town of Carmel, California. In the years since, Mark and I tried to find its equal, only to be disappointed with the lack of flavor and inferior bread. Eventually, we gave up the search and decided to start making them at home. The final, fresh brushing of dressing after roasting imparts a critical punch of flavor. They always make me think of that lovely day we had in Carmel, California.
The Portabella Recipe
|WHAT YOU NEED||WHAT TO DO||WHY|
||Slice buns and set aside. Center an oven rack; preheat to 425°F Convection (verify with an oven thermometer). Meanwhile…||Internal oven thermostats are often improperly calibrated.|
||Brush mushrooms to remove any soil, and keep onion rings intact. Place mushrooms, onion, and bell pepper in a single layer with shoulder room on a lined quarter sheet pan. Use ⅔ of dressing to brush all sides of mushrooms, onion, and pepper. Flip portabella and pepper skin sides up. Roast until pepper skins thin and start to bubble (18-22 minutes). Remove from oven to brush all sides with reserved dressing.||Parchment makes cleanup easy. Big slices stay in place on the assembled sandwich. Shoulder room promotes the Maillard (my YARD) reaction (browning), which adds rich flavor. When the skins are faced upward, excess liquid can drain away.|
||Layer the insides of each sandwich, starting with basil leaves, and then 1 onion slice, 1 portabella, black pepper, 1 bell pepper slices, and finally, more basil leaves.||Sprinkling black pepper directly over the onion is essential for flavor.|