A monthly experiment.

This is a take on another one of Dino’s recipes. It is called the Dino Sammich, but again I changed some pieces of it around to suit my tastes and use what I had on hand. I went to Central Market over the weekend to spend way too much money on a lot of goodies. One of the things I picked up was a few bunches of Oyster Mushrooms, which are AWESOME.

Let’s start with the ingredient list.

  • 2 pieces of bread (I had Naan left over from Friday, I made a Masala and Curried Plantains from Dino’s book Alternative Vegan. I didn’t want to mess with making Dosa at the time so I went with some store bought Naan).
  • 2 medium zucchinis
  • 2 bunches of Oyster Mushrooms
  • ¼ cup of nice olives (I got some mixed green and black in garlic and red pepper)
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 scallion
  • 3 sprigs of thyme
  • 2 sprigs of oregano
  • Smoked paprika
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Olive Oil
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Pine nuts

To begin with get your oven at 350 and get your pan and wire rack (or oven proof griddle pan) ready to go. Cut the zucchinis into planks and lay them on the rack. Take the leaves off the herbs and give them a rough chop. Toss them in a bowl with some olive oil, the salt and pepper and the paprika. Chop the white part of the green onions finely and add this in as well. Brush the zucchinis with this oil mixture and toss them in the oven for 20 minutes.

While they are cooking get some olive oil hot in a pan and add the garlic and red bell peppers. Wash the oyster mushrooms and cut them off the base of the bunch. Pull them apart a little and throw them in. You will notice these mushrooms give off a wonderful shrimp like smell. They literally smell like seafood is cooking. BUT THEY’RE MUSHROOMS!! How wonderful is that? They even taste a little bit like shrimp. Anyway mix this around until the mushrooms and bell peppers are soft and a bit browned. Add a dash of balsamic and salt and pepper to taste. Chop the olives up and toss them in and mix thoroughly. In a dry pan toast the pine nuts and add them to the party as well. Lay out your piece of naan bread (or a baguette cut in half or sourdough or some ciabatta, whatever you want really) and spoon this mixture on top of it.

Take your zucchinis out of the oven when they are soft and brown and delicious, lay them out on top of the mushroom mixture until you have enough. Cover with the other piece of bread and wrap this in foil. Then put something heavy on top of it and add some weight such as some cans of beans or something. This will press out some liquid and smash the sandwich down. Now this made my naan a little soggy. But I just pressed some paper towels on top after unwrapping it 20 minutes later and sopped up the extra juice, then let it dry for a bit.

I preferred this sandwich warm, which brought out all the great flavors better than when it was cold. But its up to your tastes really. The mushrooms give it a nice meaty bite and some good seafood-ish flavor, the zucchinis add a great soft texture and the flavors all ended up melding really well. Italian cooking is something I am really familiar with so playing with these flavors is second nature to me at this time. I hope you all enjoy this and try your own versions and let me know how it goes. This is a perfect sandwich for on the go to grab out of the fridge or to sit down and eat warm with a salad.

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