Marinated Mushroom Panini

(NC)—Whether you and need a meal to take on-the-go or you want a healthy one to make ahead of time for a busy day, this recipe can be adapted to suit your lifestyle. To make it faster buy pre-sliced mushrooms, roasted peppers from the deli or in the jar and a prepared pesto; substitute Greek dressing for the vinaigrette.

Preparation Time: 35 minutes

Cooking Time: 5 minutes

Lemon Vinaigrette:

1 small lemon

4 oz (50 mL)

extra virgin olive oil 1 tsp (5 mL)

dried oregano

1 clove garlic, crushed½ tsp (2 mL)

salt ¼ tsp (1 mL) pepper

6 oz (180 g) each white fresh white and crimini Mushrooms (about 3 cups each, sliced) 3 oz (90 g) fresh shiitake Mushrooms, stems removed (about 1 ½ cups sliced) 2 tbsp (25 mL) chopped fresh Italian parsley 2 green onions, sliced 2 roasted, peeled large red peppers 5 tbsp (65 mL) spinach pesto (recipe below) 1 pkg (113 g) goat cheese, crumbled 5 large panini buns split.

Grate the lemon rind to yield ½ tsp (2 mL) zest. Squeeze lemon to yield 2 tbsp (25 mL) juice. In a measuring cup whisk juice, zest, oil, oregano, garlic, salt and pepper together. Thickly slice mushrooms and place in a bowl, toss with vinaigrette, parsley and onions until well coated. Let stand at least 10 minutes to allow flavours to blend or cover and chill 1 hour.

Spread pesto on the bottom half of buns; divide mushrooms equally on top; sprinkle cheese over mushrooms. Tear roasted pepper into pieces and lay on top; top with other half of buns; press down firmly.

Grill in a panini press or cook in a non -stick skillet over medium heat like a grilled cheese sandwich until brown and crisp on both sides and cheese is melted.

Cut panini on an angle and serve with spinach salad.

Makes 5 servings

Tip: If cooking in a skillet, place a heavy saucepan on top and weight down with canned goods.

Spinach Pesto:
In a small food processor combine ¼ cup (50 mL) torn basil OR 2 tbsp (25 mL) basil paste (in a tube), 1 clove crushed garlic, ½ cup (125 mL) packed fresh spinach, 1 ½ tbsp (22 mL) olive oil and pinch of salt and pepper. Process until smooth.Easy Variation: In a small food processor combine 3 tbsp (45 mL) prepared pesto and ½ cup (125 ml) packed fresh spinach; process until smooth. Add 1-2 tsp olive oil if necessary to produce a spreading consistency.

Recipe from Niagara Colleges’ entry into the “Make it with Mushrooms Student Chef Challenge,” Fall 2008.

For more great mushroom recipes visit Mushrooms Canada at