Portobello & Goat Cheese Sandwiches with Green Olive Pesto
The earthy flavor of portobello mushrooms goes nicely with the mild tangy goat cheese and salty olive pesto in this vegetarian sandwich. It offers a quick and easy solution for lunch or a light dinner.
1 cup tightly packed fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup pitted green olives, such as manzanilla, coarsely chopped
1 Tbs. walnuts or pine nuts
1 small clove garlic, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup plus 2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 small to medium portobello mushrooms, stemmed, gills removed, and wiped clean
4 soft round rolls, such as Portuguese or kaiser, split in half
4 oz. fresh goat cheese, crumbled
Heat a panini or sandwich press according to the manufacturer’s instructions. (Alternatively, heat a nonstick grill pan over medium-high heat.)
While the press is heating, put the basil, olives, nuts, and garlic in a food processor and process until finely chopped. With the motor running, add 6 Tbs. of the olive oil in a slow, steady stream through the feed tube and continue to process until thick and smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Brush the mushrooms with 2 Tbs. of the olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Put them on the press, pull the top down, and cook until softened and browned, 3 to 5 minutes (or cook in the grill pan, flipping once). Transfer to a plate and let cool slightly.
Spread the pesto on the bottom halves of the rolls. Put 2 mushrooms on each and then some cheese. Top the sandwiches with the other halves of the rolls. Brush both sides of the sandwiches with the remaining 2 tsp. oil.
Put the sandwiches on the press pesto side up, pull the top down, and cook until browned and crisp and the cheese is melted, 5 to 7 minutes, depending on how hot your machine is. (If using a grill pan, put a heavy pan on top of the sandwiches and cook, turning the sandwiches over once.) Carefully remove from the press and serve.
Pair with a hearty soup like Minestrone with Green Beans and Fennel.
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