A few weeks ago, I was browsing through vegetarian sandwich recipes when this one caught my eye. It looked big, which is always good when it comes to sandwiches. In my humble opinion, if you have to save half because the other half fills you up, you just got your money’s worth.
This recipe is a play off of the famous Philly cheese steak sandwich. In this vegetarian version, the thinly sliced mushrooms act as the steak. When cooked, they offer a meaty texture. The sauteed broccoli, garlic and pepper flakes add volume and lots of flavor. Last, but certainly not least in this case, the American cheese adds, well, tons of smooth cheesiness. Overall, it’s a great sandwich recipe that’s sure to satisfy your appetite.
Makes: 2 Large Sandwiches to Serve 4
Regular Olive Oil
2 Teaspoons Garlic, Minced
1/8 Teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
1 Pound Broccoli, Trimmed and Cut into 1/2 Inch Pieces
2 Tablespoons Water
Regular Table Salt
Ground Black Pepper
2 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
1 1/2 Pounds White Button Mushrooms, Sliced Thin
10 Slices Real American Cheese
2 12-Inch Sub Rolls, Sliced Lengthwise
I found this recipe in The Complete Vegetarian Cookbook that was released by America’s Test Kitchen. While I did alter some ingredients and methods, this book was my inspiration.
I know that I gave instructions for how the ingredients should be prepped, but I thought adding a few photos wouldn’t hurt. With that in mind, go ahead and rinse all the mushrooms in a colander and then slice them up. Place them in a bowl.
After that, trim the broccoli and cut it lengthwise, so each floret is independent of the others. Then, cut everything up into smaller pieces.
Cook the Broccoli
Warm a 12 skillet over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon olive oil. When the pan is to temperature, add the garlic and pepper flakes and cook for about 30 seconds. Then, add in all the broccoli, water and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cover and let cook for about 5 minutes. Stir often.
The goal here is to make the broccoli green and tender. Don’t overcook, or the broccoli will get mushy and turn brown. When the broccoli is finished, remove the pan from heat and stir in the vinegar. Then, transfer everything to a bowl.
Cook the Mushrooms
In the same skillet (now empty), add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and warm over medium-high heat. When the pan is to temperature, add all the sliced mushrooms. Cover and let cook for about 5 minutes. At this point, uncover the pan. You should see the softened mushrooms sitting in the water they released. Let cook, uncovered, for another 5 minutes or until the liquid has evaporated. When that happens, reduce the heat to low.
Empty the bowl of broccoli into the skillet with the mushrooms and stir together. Layer the 10 slices of cheese across the top of the mushroom and broccoli mixture.
Cover and let cook on low, undisturbed, for about 2 minutes. This should melt the cheese. Uncover and fold the ingredient mixture over onto itself until the cheese is mixed into the vegetables. At this point, the filling is finished.
Optional Toasting of the Bread
You can enjoy this sandwich on toasted or untoasted bread. If you would like to keep the bread untoasted, simply divide the filling between the two rolls, cut each roll in half, and plate. If you would like to toast the bread, warm your oven to 375 degrees and place the rolls, face down, on the center rack for a few minutes. That should do the trick. After that, turn off the heat and follow instructions above.
Like I mentioned above, this is a wonderful and very filling sandwich. Give it a try and see what friends and family have to say about it. I think they’ll all agree that it’s a hit.