Today’s recipe is brought to you in honor of Cheryl Malik of 40 Aprons and her husband, who will soon be welcoming baby boy Leo into their lives. Congratulations to you both!!
Cheryl’s nursery theme is from the book Sleep Like a Tiger. As soon as I heard the word tiger, my mind immediately went to panini sandwiches because the grill marks look a little like tiger stripes to me.
If you don’t want to serve these as appetizers, you can just as easily use this recipe to make four sandwiches. However, I love the idea of having little bite-sized sandwiches that you can then dip in the delicious basil mayo dressing. Yum!
If you’re looking for something that leans a little more toward vegetarian, then these panini bites may be just the thing. The portobello mushrooms are definitely the star of the show, and I wouldn’t dare call them a meat substitute. They sparkle and shine very well on their own. But then when you add the fontina cheese, roasted red peppers, garlic rosemary mayo and basil mayo dressing…well, you have a sandwich that is to die for. If you don’t want to splurge on fontina cheese, feel free to substitute an Italian blend if your grocery store carries it. The first time I made this recipe, I used the Italian blend and it was just as tasty.
Once again, congratulations to the proud parents-to-be! I am sure you will have a wonderful time watching little Leo grow up!
Please check out the other fabulous recipes that have been submitted in honor of Cheryl and her baby boy:
By Jessica of Jessica in the Kitchen:
By Marci of Flavor the Moments:
By Melissa of Simply Whisked:
By Meriem of Culinary Couture:
By Michelle of Thistle Key Lane:
By Rachel of Bakerita:
By Sarah of Broma Bakery:
By Traci of Vanilla and Bean:
Portobello Panini Bites
- 4 large portobello caps
- 4 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 4 tbsp mayonnaise
- 2 tsp minced garlic 4 cloves
- 2 tsp minced fresh rosemary
- 4 ciabatta buns
- 2 cups grated fontina cheese
- 1/2 cup roasted red peppers rinsed, patted dry, and sliced 1/2 inch thick
Basil Mayo Sauce:
- 3 tbsp. pesto
- 2 tbsp. mayo
- Preheat a 12-inch nonstick grill pan over medium heat for 2 minutes. (Droplets of water should just sizzle when flicked onto pan.) Toss 2 of the mushrooms, 1 tbsp. oil, salt, and pepper together. Place mushrooms, gill side up, in pan and weight with Dutch oven or other heavy pan. Cook until mushrooms are well browned on both sides, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer mushrooms to plate. Repeat with other 2 mushrooms. Wipe pan clean.
- Combine mayonnaise, garlic, and rosemary in bowl. Spread mayonnaise mixture evenly over 1 side of each bun half. Assemble 4 sandwiches by layering ingredients as follows between prepared buns (with mayonnaise mixture inside sandwich): half of fontina, cooked mushrooms, red peppers and remaining fontina. Press gently on sandwiches to set.
- Reheat now empty pan over medium heat for 1 minute. Turn to low. Brush outside of sandwiches lightly with remaining oil. Place sandwiches in pan and weight with Dutch oven or other heavy pan. Cook sandwiches until buns are golden brown and crisp on both sides and cheese is melted, about 3 minutes per side. Cut each sandwich into quarters and serve with sandwich picks if desired.
Basil Mayo Sauce (yield 1/2 cup):
- Add pesto to a mesh strainer to drain extra oil. Add drained pesto to small bowl. Add mayo and combine. Serve with panini bites.