Somehow, between middle school and college, I went from being a sandwich hater to a sandwich lover.

Not the kind of sandwiches that you throw together in a rush on your way out the door in the morning.  I want nothing to do with those.  They bore me.

Not to be catty or anything.  But they are so.  Last.  Year.

No.  We’re talking about the kind of sandwiches that require thought.  And perseverance. Sandwiches that make you go Mmmmmm.

I think my change of heart occurred when my college roommate, Tiffany, and I went to a restaurant in Cambridge’s Harvard Square called The Redline.  It was there that we had our first Cuban sandwich.  And it was also there that we tried to sell our souls and our firstborn children to the God of Sandwiches. If only we could eat that sandwich every day.  For the rest of our lives.

(He wouldn’t let us.  He said something about heart disease and high cholesterol and how he couldn’t let us do that to ourselves.  But he agreed to allow us to return every few months or so.  And promised that the sandwiches would be just as good as we remembered.  Possibly better.  That whole absence makes the heart grow fonder.  Thing.  Yeah.  He was a good guy.)

Since then, my outlook on sandwiches has been different.  Gone are the days of just throwing together a random amalgam of bread and deli meat and hoping for the best.

Now.  I try to really delve into the inner psyche of my sandwiches.  Think about all of their components.  Pair the perfect filling with the perfect bread and topping it with the perfect condiment.

It’s almost like Millionaire Matchmaker.  Except instead of people.  I match comestibles.  On 27 levels of compatibility.

Each component has to fill out a 436 question survey before they can be allowed into my apartment.

I call it the eHarmony model.

You know what they say.  Those who can’t do.  Teach.  And so if I can’t find someone to “fall in love with for all the right reasons”.  I might as well help deli meat along on it’s quest for true love.

This recipe first caught my eye because of the tahini sauce.  I love tahini sauce.  Almost as much as I love peanut sauce.  Actually.  I love them both.  Equally.  But in different ways.

Unfortunately, Bon Appetit calls for one to mix the tahini with ranch dressing.  I thought that was ludicrous and decided to mix it instead with Greek yogurt.  That was a good call.

Then, I started thinking about bread.  And I thought this mix of portobellos, caramelized mushrooms, and tahini sauce would go really well on a nice French baguette.  As opposed to the thick hearty slices of white bread that Bon Appetit calls for.  I was right.

The Millionaire Sandwichmaker.  Strikes again.

Portobello Mushroom Sandwiches with Tahini Sauce
Serves 4, adapted from Bon Appetit’s Fast/Easy/Fresh

2 long loaves of French bread (recipe to follow)
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 1/4 lb portobello mushrooms, stemmed and cut into 1/3 inch wide strips
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 tsp cajun seasoning
2/3 cup greek yogurt
1/4 cup tahini
1/4 cup almond milk (or regular milk)
12 thin tomato slices
4 oz grated mozzarella

1. Head oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat.  Add mushrooms and onion and saute until tender, about 10 minutes.  Add creole seasoning.  Saute 2 minutes.

2. Whisk together the greek yogurt, tahini, and almond milk. Season to taste with salt.

3. Cut the loaves of French bread in half, both width-wise and lengthwise.  Layer on the arugula, tomatoes, and mozzarella cheese.  Top with 1/4 of the mushroom mixture.  Drizzle on some of the tahini sauce.

French Bread
Makes 3 or 4 baguettes, 1 boule, or 12-16 rolls, adapted from How to Cook Everything

3 1/2 cups bread or all-purpose flour (I used AP flour)
2 tsp salt
1 tsp instant or rapid-rise yeast
scant 1 1/2 cups water

1. Combine half the flour with the salt and yeast and stir to blend.  Add all of the water and stir with a wooden spoon until smooth.  Add remaining flour a bit at a time.  When the mixture becomes too tough to stir with a spoon, begin kneading, adding as little flour as possible.  Knead until smooth but still quite moist, about 10 minutes.

2. Put into a large bowl and cover with a damp towel.  Let rise for 2-3 hours, at room temperature.

3. Sprinkle a bit of flour onto a counter or tabletop and cut the dough into 4 equal pieces.  Shape each into a ball, sprinkling with more flour is necessary.  Cover with a towel and let rise for 20-30 minutes.

4. Spread a large piece of cloth on your countertop and sprinkle lightly with flour.

5. Press each dough ball flat, then fold it over onto itself twice.  Seal the resulting seam and roll the dough into a long snake.  Place the loaf, seam side up, in a fold of the cloth.  When all the loaves are formed, cover them with a cloth and let them rise for 1-2 hours at room temperature.

6. 30 minutes before you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 450 with a baking stone in the oven.  Sprinkle each loaf with flour and slash the top with a razor blade.  Slide the bread onto the baking stone.  Spray the inside of the oven to create steam, them put the loaves into the oven.

7. After 5 minutes spray again.  Bake 25-35 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and the internal temperature is at least 210 degrees F.  Cool on a wire rack.

This is my submission to this week’s IHCC.  And it’s been Yeastspotted!

You are reading this post on Eats Well With Others at Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of Eats Well With Others. All rights reserved by Joanne Bruno.
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83 Responses to Portobello Mushroom Sandwiches with Tahini Sauce on Bittman’s French Bread

  1. Duchess says:

    I’m so excited to make this sandwich. The Boy loves sandwiches and it sounds like one he’ll swoon over :0)

  2. Simply Life says:

    oh this sandwich looks GREAT!

  3. Velva says:

    Cheers to great sandwiches!!! A great sandwich is reflected in the layers of flavors just like the one you are showcasing.

  4. Pam says:

    I’m with you on the sandwiches! Who needs an ordinary one when you can have this? It looks delicious and I love the sauce you have on it. When’s lunch?

  5. Raina says:

    Do you sleep or what? I think you are a machine! I say that to my pilates instructor

    This sandwich is incredible..homemade french bread..tahini sauce which I love too..and portabellos..OMG! It sounds like you made a good call on the yogurt instead of the dressing and French instead of white bread.
    Thanks for sharing it:)

  6. Katerina says:

    I love tahini. I love sandwiches. The kind you like not the fast-throw anything in-type. Preparing a good sandwich is as time consuming as preparing a meal. That’s the type I like. And this one is defiitely my type. It is so pitty, you live a few thousand kilometers away. I would easily knock your door, asking for this, now that I am home and hungry.

  7. What a sexy sandwich! I hate to admit that the only way I’ve ever used Tahini is in hummus. I can imagine how you would love it, though, since it does seem so similar to peanut butter 🙂

    Your baquettes turned out beautifully! I’ll have to try Bittman’s recipe.

  8. Kelsey says:

    i never ate my mom’s sandwiches when they were rushed. she would slop on pb&jam and i would slop it right back in the trash. i stil lremember the half soggy taste of dried up peanut butter on a wet jam bread slice YUK!

    but i loved when she made a nice crispy chicken one with tomato and ice ber lettuce with a delish dressing.

    mmm just like urs, always makes me think of my secret love for sandwiches <3

  9. Kim says:

    Hello Tahini Sauce!! I love how the tahini sauce is so thick and creamy. I definitely agree with the comment above which states that this is one sexy sandwich! Bravo on the good looking french bread. They turned out perfectly.

  10. Hannah says:

    This sounds so utterly delicious, and I even have some portobellos on hand right now, too! I think I just figured out what to do with them… 😉

  11. Sandwiches look yummy,nice filling …

  12. Kristin says:

    I love everything on this sandwich. It is a perfect vegetarian sandwich and I don’t think you would even notice that there is no meat! I will have to give this sandwich a try.

  13. Catherine says:

    Oooh this looks so delicious, Joanne! Yummy!

  14. Kalyn says:

    Your blog looks great! I’ll take a mushroom with the sauce and no bread, please!

  15. Dawn says:

    I agree with you about the art of sandwich making. It definitely takes time and planning. And I must compliment you on your writing skills….the sandwich story brought a smile and a chuckle. I hope to be as good of a writer eventually!

  16. Toni says:

    I am so impressed at the amount of time and effort you put into making bread. Granted, I can tell it’s worth it, but bread recipes like that are the reason I hid from yeast for so long. Someday I’ll get there…

  17. Pam says:

    I love that we both made portobello sandwiches. Yours looks AMAZING!!! I love tahini sauce…I am glad you added Greek yogurt because adding ranch seems criminal. Baking your own bread to make your sandwich? Woman you are amazing.

  18. Ameena says:

    I had no idea how much I loved sandwiches until I could no longer eat them. Somehow sandwiches with gluten-free bread doesn’t quite cut the mustard!

    I am so impressed that you not only make a sandwich but the bread too!!

  19. You are a Bittman nut! I love the sound of this sandwich… so much flavor and the tahini/yogurt sauce is just magnificent.

    I am going to try making this french bread… Eric has been bugging me to make fresh baguettes, so I think it’s time for me to finally do it. Thanks for the recipe!

  20. I love baguettes,yogurt and mushrooms! bookmarked…

  21. Christina says:

    I’ve been veering away from sandwiches, too, probably because I rush them. This sounds really good, and the bread looks incredible, and the sauce sounds epic!

  22. A sandwich doesn’t have to be boring that’s for sure:D

  23. Marcia says:

    mmm…I also love tahini sauce. Delish! That’s a sammie I’m going to try.

  24. Bridgett says:

    The tahini sauce is a fantastic addition. This is such an incredible sandwich and beats what I grew up eating too.

  25. Justin says:

    making bread from scratch for sandwiches is serious commitment. i used to make focaccia all the time, just for packing my lunches for work… seems crazy to me now.

  26. joanne,
    how do you continue to out do yourself? tahini makes everything good!

  27. Yummy sandwiches with portobellos and tahini sauce!

  28. Mari says:

    Another wonderful recipe! you need to write your own cookbook =)

  29. R. says:

    I’m a big fan of sandwiches that require thought as well! I love, love, love fresh mozzarella on any heated sandwich. YUM!

  30. RamblingTart says:

    Joanne, I am totally with you on this. I avoided sandwiches for years, just didn’t think about them, but now, oh NOW, I LOVE them! With all those fabulous spreads and caramelized vegetables and delish cheeses. Sigh. Pure bliss. I love this one – except the mushrooms, I just CAN’T make myself like them – and the bread looks amazing. 🙂

  31. Julie says:

    hahaha i think patti stanger would approve of your sammie. and she’d prob set it up with a side of carrot fries or something..

  32. Yummy sandwiches with mushrooms and tahini sauce!

  33. First time to your blog. First of all, love the name. Secondly, I agree with you on sandwiches. I’ve been trying to get more into them. This one looks delish. xxSAS

  34. Debinhawaii says:

    Although you will always be the Sweet Potato Queen, you may just be the Sandwich Princess. This looks amazing–love tahini and good call with the yogurt and your bread is beautiful. A perfect sandwich.

  35. Mimi says:

    Great looking sandwich, but won’t deli meat feel hurt and dejected now that he’s been thrown over for portobello mushrooms?

    Man, those french rolls look so good. I’ll have to give them a try soon!

  36. The tahini sauce sounds great in this!

  37. Amy says:

    I tried a new sandwich today – grilled chicken breast, with apricots, water chestnuts, sliced almonds, mayo, greek yogurt, white wine vinegar, blah blah blah. It was HORRIBLE. I had such high hopes. Reading this post makes me even more depressed – because had I gotten to it earlier, I could have made yours!

  38. Lea Ann says:

    “so last year”…LOVE it. This reminds me of an opened faced grilled eggplant sandwich that I have. Gotta make it and blog it. I agree, I went for years and years and wouldn’t eat a sandwich, then bingo such clever creations drew me back in. This looks fabulous.

  39. Stella says:

    Hey Joanne, I know what your’e talking about with the sandwiches. I’m starting to like them, and I do want them to be well thought out, structurally and tastefully sound (smile).
    This sandwich sounds so good-I’m going to try something like it this week. I need to eat more yogurt…

  40. I love how you’re making everything from scratch now. I’ve been looking at a couple of portobello mushroom recipes, and I have to tell you that this is one of the more interesting out there.

  41. So much thought went into this! I have no doubt that it is a delicious combo all the way around. And tahini sauce? One of my faves too – good call on the yogurt – ranch conjured up an ‘ick’ factor for me too.

  42. Joanne
    I was feeling the urge to eat that sandwich as I was looking at the photos and scrutinizing the recipe! What a wonderful idea you had to join tahini sauce and portobello; can’t think of any two things that go better together!

  43. Lynn says:

    Mmmm, mushroom sandwiches — yum. I think your baguettes really make it special, too. I’d like to eat that right now 🙂

  44. Kristen says:

    Looks delicious! I have to try this sandwich. The ingredients sound wonderful together.

  45. I was going to make a comment on how good the sandwich looks even though I am not a mushroom fan but then I read your comment about the comparing peanut sauce to tahini sauce. I KNOW of your love for peanut sauce so if you are comparing the two, I have GOT to try this sauce on something. I swear I gasped when I read that.

  46. Sook says:

    Joanne! Protebella mushroom sandwiches is one of my husband’s specialties! They are so yummy! 🙂

  47. Cynthia says:

    I used to be a sandwich hater too! Now I find that I have the strongest urges for sandwiches at the most random times! The tahini sauce in this looks mouthwatering! And as for the millionaire matchmaker…insane, just insane!

  48. sweetlife says:

    oh joanne you really need to come live with me and dream up these wonderful creations here so I can taste test..yummy…I love a great sammy and your bread..applauds…


  49. Marisa says:

    I love a well-though out sandwich! The tahini sauce sounds like a winning addition to this one. The millionaire sandwich maker really did strike again!

  50. tigerfish says:

    I don’t remember myself being a sandwich hater and now…I do not know if this is good or bad. I survived on peanut butter sandwich for many many years as my BYOL (Bring Your Own Lunch) at work. Bad on the cholesterol maybe but good for my wallet , time and convenience ;p

  51. I don’t eat sandwiches often…but once in a while, some quality sandwiches like this one would really do me good. I know that.
    Love your writing too, sparkling with wits.

  52. M D says:

    It’s impressive to see the way you have built the sandwich. Ur bread looks fabulous, has the perfect rise and has browned beautifully! Lovely looking sandwich loaf.

  53. Debbie says:

    I want this sandwich for lunch today….can you please send it over! It looks fantastic!!

  54. looks like an awesome sammie. of course i’d drown it in mustard! =D

    hahahhaah yes, jonesy and the boys were awesome! =D

    and yes, WHY CAN”T SOMEONE SELL A 64 oz jar of ALMOND BUTTER!!!!

  55. Yosha says:

    This sounds lovely! I am not sure I’ve ever had a potobella mushroom. These are not your run of the mill grocerry button types eh?! Hmm…will investigate.

    Oh wanted to point you here…right up your alley I would think, though maybe a bit simple skill wise!

  56. this is awesome! I am definitely a sandwich lover! no more plain old ham and cheese for me…this one looks so good! I love greek yogurt on sandwiches too!

  57. Mary says:

    What a glorious sandwich, Joanne. I could eat this over and over again as well. I adore portobellos to begin with and when used in this way they become heavenly. I hope you are having a wonderful day. Blessings…Mary

  58. Julie says:

    Now I feel the need to make bread. I don’t think I’ll be able to ignore it. Yummy sandwich!

  59. Shirley says:

    Love the inclusion of Tahini, well laboured recipe!

  60. Joanne! Now you KNOW this looks good. Why didn’t you make enough for everyone to have a bite?!

  61. eleni says:

    Good and healthy… this is me!!

  62. msmeanie says:

    I eat sandwiches about 4 times a week so I am always looking for sandwich ideas. And this sandwich definitely sounds like my kind of sandwich. Love the tahini sauce in it. I am definitely going to use that now!

  63. naomi says:

    I’m lov’n this!

  64. Barbara says:

    Mmmmm is right!
    And great call on the yogurt instead of ranch dressing. I keep seeing it in so many recipes when I wouldn’t think it would work.
    This is sandwich to drool over!

  65. Faith says:

    I couldn’t agree more — a sandwich needs to have a little intrigue for me to want to eat it. 😉 This one definitely does. The tahini sauce sounds amazing in this!

  66. Deborah says:

    Now that’s a sandwich!!

  67. Carolyn Jung says:

    A sandwich can be a great thing, indeed. It’s harder than you’d think to put together one that really, really sings. But when you do, wow, is it delicious and memorable.

  68. daphne says:

    I love a good sandwich. I like how u did it with the sauce and mushrooms. Great combination! and the bread looks awesome!

  69. Sandwiches can be so good, and this one looks amazing. That tahini sauce has me completely distracted right now!

  70. Azita says:

    This is a great sandwich with portobello mushrooms and tahini sauce.Yummy!

  71. Giovanna says:

    You had me at portobello mushrooms! : )

  72. I too am in love with tahini sauce, so much that I can slather some on a piece of toast and call it breakfast. Can’t get me head around the tahini and ranch, sounds awful. Good choice on your part using the yogurt. Photo’s look so good I’m now craving a nice crusty sandwich and I haven’t even had breakfast yet.

  73. knk says:

    its really delicious you are a great coook

    nice collection of recipes

  74. Chris says:

    I want to cheat on my Cuban sandwich with that portobello sandwich, does that make me a heel?

    MWM iso a robust, flavorful sandwich. I like reading non-fiction, long walks on the beach, and thunderstorms at 5 in the morning.

  75. Kerstin says:

    This is the kind of sandwich that makes my heart sing and is so worth the extra effort! Sounds amazing with that homemade bread!

  76. Oh YUM!!

    I love how you incorporated Millionaire Matchmaker (a show that must remain on no matter what if I happen to come across it) and eHarmony (my internet service of choice should Boy and I not pan out – yes, I’ve come up with my back-up plan already even though we’re quite smitten with one another) into your post. Substituting ranch with Greek yogurt? Clever.

    Also, I hope home-baking doesn’t contribute to the DM epidemic.. since I made chocolate chip cookies on Friday and ate 5 of the biggest ones that night followed by 2 for breakfast the next morning (before spin class at least!) and 2 more later on Saturday. And then I made someone eat the rest.

    ps. I think I found a place to stay on 63rd. LET’S PLAY!

  77. Taylor says:

    Gourmet sandwiches have been my favorite lately! I love roasting a bunch of veggies, getting some really good bread and spreading some goat cheese on it and then throwing the veggies in between the pieces of bread….SO GOOD! I’m definitely going to need to try that tahini sauce..

  78. girlichef says:

    That is some nice looking french bread! I can’t believe there was a time when you didn’t like sammies…wtf!? LOL. And thanks loads for saying Cuban. Now I’m craving one. Your sandwich looks pretty killer, too though 😉

  79. Eliana says:

    hehe – Millionaire sandwich maker – love it!

  80. Claudia says:

    I think maybe you should be editing Bon Appetit. A much better call with the yoghurt.

  81. Dana says:

    I am totally not into sandwiches. As a veg, they are so BORING. But not this one. I would never have thought to mix tahini with anything but it makes so much sense. It’s pretty intense and mellowing it out with something creamy sounds awesome.

  82. The bread alone looks wonderful…I’m drooling over this sandwich

  83. Great job on the French bread! And the sandwich making. And the replacing ranch sauce with yogurt. I make terrible sandwiches haha. I never know what to put in there so either don’t put much (like just cheese and mustard, which I actually love) or put way too much.

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