Portobello, Swiss Chard, and Goat Cheese with Walnut Pesto
This sandwich is filled with wonderful textures and flavors. The walnut pesto offers a quiet, underlying flavor to the sharpness of the goat cheese and the sweetness of the bell peppers. The portobello mushroom anchors the sandwich beautifully.
Makes 4 sandwiches. Pesto makes 1 1/2 cups.
- 2 large portobello mushrooms, stems removed
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 bunch Swiss chard, washed, dried, and thick stems removed
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 4 (6") pieces French Baguette
- 8 tablespoons Walnut and Sage Pesto (ingredients & directions below)
- 1 large roasted red bell pepper, cut into 8 strips (directions below)
- 4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
Walnut and Sage Pesto
- 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 cups toasted walnuts
- 6 fresh sage leaves
- 1 shallot
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Mushrooms: In a bowl, combine the mushrooms with the extra-virgin oil, vinegar, soy sauce, salt, and pepper. Transfer the mushrooms to a baking tray. Roast 15 to 18 minutes, until cooked through. Set aside and cool.
- Swiss Chard: In a large saute pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook just until fragrant, 1 minute (do not color the garlic). Stir in the Swiss chard; sprinkle with the salt and ground pepper. Add the water and lemon juice. Cook until the chard is wilted, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer the chard to a colander; dram and cool.
- Cut each mushroom into 4 slices. Cut each baguette lengthwise in half with a serrated knife, but do not cut all the way through. Open each baguette slightly, and spread each bottom half with 2 tablespoons pesto. Divide the chard among the baguettes. Top each sandwich with 2 mushroom slices, 2 red pepper strips, and one-quarter of the goat cheese. Close the sandwiches.
Preparing Roasted Peppers & Pesto
- Using a pair of tongs, place a bell pepper over a high flame of a gas burner. Rotate the pepper as each side chars. When the entire pepper is charred, transfer to a sturdy brown paper bag and close. Let the pepper steam and cool in the bag. (At this point the pepper may be refrigerated overnight.)
- Remove the pepper from the bag and peel away the charred skin. Do not rinse. Carefully make a slit from the stem end to the bottom of the pepper; open the pepper so it lies flat on a cutting board. Remove the stem and the seeds; cut and discard the white ribs, which make the pepper bitter.
- If roasting a quantity of peppers, arrange the peppers in ajar; add 1 peeled garlic clove and a sprig of fresh herbs (such as thyme, rosemary, or oregano). Add enough extra-virgin olive oil to cover the peppers. Cover the jar and refrigerate the peppers for up to 3 weeks.
Walnut and Sage Pesto:
- In a small saute pan, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over medium heat until warm. Add the sage leaves and saute 1 minute until fragrant. Remove the pan from the heat and cool.
- In a food processor, pulse the shallot and garlic until minced. Add the walnuts, sage and oil mixture, salt, and pepper; pulse until the nuts are chopped. With the machine running, gradually add the remaining oil in a thin, steady stream through the feed tube, and process just until blended.
You don't have to be a master baker like Metropolitan's James Barrett to make delicious French-inspired delights at home. Here are several favorites—some savory, some sweet—adapted by James for the home chef.