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the haas machine: Portabello Sandwich with Caramelized Onions, Roasted Red Peppers, Eggplant, & Mozzarella

Monday, April 1, 2013

Portabello Sandwich with Caramelized Onions, Roasted Red Peppers, Eggplant, & Mozzarella

Spring is finally here! I saw a cardinal the other day while Ruby & I were longingly looking out the window. Neither one of us can wait to get outside, play in the yard & mess around in our gardens. I planted all of my (120) seeds this week, too. Someone please remind me why I'm doing this in July when it's a million degrees outside & when watering the garden seems like the last thing I want to be doing. Please tell me that it will save us tons of money, that it will help my daughter learn to enjoy eating more vegetables when she watches them grow, & that they will be down-right delicious. Please remind me.

I really can't wait to be outside more. My yard is screaming for attention & someday I'll get to it. I actually really get into doing yard work. I absolutely love raking our (mini) yard in the spring (probably because it's mini). I love making way for the fresh green grass to pop through & noticing all of the little bulbs that are sprouting into flowers. 

We even finally bought a table & chair set for our new-ish back patio. I can't wait to string up little white lights & fill the lattice with flowy vines & pretty little flowers & then have mini parties out there (because our patio, too is very mini). We can start eating dinner out there & not have to come in at 5:00 because it's dark or awkwardly stand around because we have nowhere to sit. We can linger late into the evening & enjoy the cool, fresh air.

Spring is the best.
Another wonderful thing about spring is that it's more appealing to grill again. Sure, we grill all throughout the winter, but it's so much more enjoyable when you don't have to immediately run inside after you get the grill going. You can putz around the yard or annoy your husband by attempting to organize the garage (again). You can sip a cool beverage & watch your kid move all of your carefully placed rocks. It's really great.

This sandwich is the perfect "it's spring! grill me!" sandwich. All of the smoky grill flavors paired with the bubbly cheese & roasty veggies will make your taste buds sing & warm your heart. I know that's a little dramatic-- to some people, it's just a meal, but to me, it kind of symbolizes that hopefulness that is spring.

What are your favorite springtime meals?
Served with a side of butter & almond tossed green beans

Portobello Sandwich with Caramelized Onions, Roasted Red Peppers, Eggplant, & Mozzarella
Ingredients
1 Tbsp butter
2 onions, thinly sliced
1 Tbsp demerara
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
2 portobello mushrooms
1 Tbsp olive oil oil
1/4 eggplant, sliced into thin rounds
1 roasted red pepper
4 oz sliced mozzarella
1 loaf focaccia or ciabatta bread

Directions
Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion & cook until translucent, about 4 to 5 minutes. Mix in demerara & balsamic vinegar. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover pan, & cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, get your *grill ready. Remove stems from mushrooms, brush with oil, & season with salt & pepper to taste. Place eggplant slices on grill, cook for 2 minutes per side, then set them aside. Add mushrooms to grill, stem sides down, & cook for 6 to 7 minutes. Flip mushrooms & cook for another 4 minutes.

Roast the red pepper by cutting it in half, seeding it, & placing the halves directly on the grill, cut side down for about 5 minutes  (or you can put the pepper in the oven on broil). The outer skin will become black & crispy, but that's what you want. Once it's successfully charred, remove it from the grill & place the pieces on a plate & in the fridge. After about 5 minutes you can remove the skin. Top the mushrooms with red peppers & mozzarella. Cook for 2 minutes or until cheese has melted.

Meanwhile, slice focaccia or ciabatta bread in half lengthwise down the side, then slice each half into squares. Toast squares on the grill, 2 minutes per side. Place mushroom/pepper/cheese pile on a the bread; top with onions, eggplant, & the other side of the bread.

*although we recommend using a charcoal grill for this meal, you can definitely pan fry the mushrooms, eggplant, & broil the red pepper & bread.

Recipe adapted from Women's Health Magazine

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