Friday, November 9, 2012

Fancy Italian Hoagie

I love huge sandwiches that can be sliced and shared amongst several people. The leftovers of this sandwich are perfect to take to lunch the next day. A lot of times when I crave a certain type of food I realize that what I like is usually the sauce and seasonings and not necessarily the specific ingredients. I used to make this with mozzerella cheese, but I honestly don't miss the cheese at all. However, you could add vegan cheese if you feel the need.

1 large loaf of crusty bread (whole grain or multigrain are both nice)
About 2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
About 4 c. mushrooms, sliced (baby bella, button, portabella, etc.)
Sea salt
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 c. vegan pesto
1/2 c. sundried tomatoes (dry or oil packed and sliced into thin strips)
2 large tomatoes, thinly sliced
1/2 a red onion, thinly sliced
About 10 leaves of fresh basil, sliced into thin strips
About 2-3 c. baby arugula

1) Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat and add the mushrooms. Saute until tender, about 3 minutes and then add the oregano and a little sea salt and toss to combine. Remove from the heat and set aside.

2) Slice the loaf of bread in half lengthwise and place face up on a baking tray (lined with foil or parchment paper to aid in clean up, if desired). Spread the pesto evenly over both sides of the bread

3) Add the following ingredients, in the order listed, to the bottom half of the loaf: sundried tomatoes, fresh tomatoes, mushrooms, red onions. Keep the sandwich open and place in the oven for 5-7 minutes.

4) Remove the sandwich from the oven, place the basil and arugula on top of the vegetables and place the top half on the sandwich to close it.

5) If desired, tightly wrap the sandwich in a kitchen towel and place a baking sheet over the sandwich and weight it down with something heavy, like cans or a cast iron skillet, for about 20 minutes. This will help the sandwich hold together. However, you could slice and serve immediately.

Weighted with a baking tray and boxes of broth.
This makes 4-6 servings depending on what else is being served.

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