Portobello Panino with Comice Pears
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Credit: Jennifer Jasinski, Executive Chef/Owner, Rioja, Denver
The National Culinary Review, July/August 2010
24 portobello mushrooms
12 oz. extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and black pepper, as needed
12 Comice pears
24 whole-wheat panini rolls
12 oz. fresh arugula
1½ lbs. Gorgonzola cheese
1½ lbs. mixed greens
36 oz. balsamic vinaigrette
1½ cups Basil Aïoli (recipe follows)
1¼ cups olive oil
5 garlic cloves
1 T. Dijon mustard
2 T. lemon juice
1 large egg yolk
1½ oz. (about 2 cups) chopped fresh basil
Pinch of sugar
Salt and pepper
1. Remove mushroom gills with spoon; clean mushrooms with wet towel. Toss mushrooms with oil; season with salt and pepper. Slowly grill until tender. (May be grilled ahead and rewarmed, or grilled to order.) Slice ¼-inch thick.
2. Cut pears in quarters lengthwise; core. Slice ¹/8-inch thick.
3. To assemble sandwich: Cut 1 panini roll in half. Spread 1 T. basil aioli on cut side. Layer with slices from ½ pear, ½ oz. arugula, 1 oz. Gorgonzola and 1 sliced warm mushroom. Cut sandwich; plate. Serve with side of 1 oz. mixed greens tossed with balsamic vinaigrette, salt and pepper.
Method: In small pot, put oil and garlic cloves on medium heat until garlic is golden-brown. Strain cloves from oil. Cool oil; reserve. In food processor, add roasted garlic, mustard, lemon juice and egg yolk; start to process. Add basil; process 1 minute. Slowly stream in cooled oil to emulsify. Add sugar and salt and pepper, to taste. Transfer aïoli to small container. Refrigerate.
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