Friday, April 24, 2015

Balsamic-marinated Porto-Bell-Pepper Sandwiches

I got this recipe straight from my mom, and every time I make it I can't get enough, it's so deliciously tangy! I typically use it to marinate bell peppers and Portobello mushroom slices, but carrots, snap peas, broccoli, onions, and even proteins like chicken or tofu can also work well. It can really be used for anything you care to try!
Ingredients: (makes 6-8 sandwiches)
3 bell peppers, sliced (I use one each of red, yellow, and orange, and avoid green because of its strong, not-so-sweet flavor)
~4 Portobello mushroom caps, sliced about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick
For the marinade:
1 cup canola or extra virgin olive oil
6 TBSP balsamic vinegar
4 TBSP grainy mustard (I use regular yellow condiment mustard)
2 TBSP lemon juice
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp salt (optional - I usually skip the salt)
Combine all marinade ingredients in a bowl or large Ziploc bag and mix well. Add sliced mushrooms and peppers to the bowl or bag and stir or shake contents so everything is well-coated in the marinade. Set aside and refrigerate for 8-48 hours (I will usually let it sit for at least a day).
When ready to cook, heat oven to 400F. Spoon the veggies into a baking pan (I use a 9x13 brownie pan). If you have excess marinade, you can save it and use as salad dressing. Bake the veggies 15-30 minutes, depending on how crunchy or soft you like them. I prefer a bit softer, so I usually bake 30 minutes.
A lot of the time, I will make a double batch of the marinade and use it for chicken as well as veggies. About 12 boneless skinless chicken thighs or 6 chicken breasts (halved or quartered) will work well for this amount of marinade. Bake the chicken at 400F for an hour.
When done baking, let the veggies (and/or chicken) cool for 5-10 minutes. Assemble sandwiches using your bread of choice - ciabatta works quite well! Garnish with tomato, lettuce, sprouts, etc. if desired. Makes a deliciously colorful and juicy sandwich!
NOTE: You can also serve with rice instead of making sandwiches. Leftover marinade makes for great snacking with excess rice!

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