These sandwiches, though vegetarian, are quite satisfying and have plenty of rich umami flavor, thanks to the portobello mushrooms. The mushrooms are excellent when grilled, but you can also sauté them in a skillet or stove top grill pan, or cook them with an electric indoor grill.Sliced avocado, sun-dried tomatoes, red onions, and grilled (or sautéed) cucumbers serve as the condiments for these mushroom "burgers", and the crisp-on-the-outside, soft-on-the-inside corn arepa keeps everything together nicely. A bit of boursin or blue cheese would really push this sandwich over the top.
I like to wrap arepa sandwiches in a piece of parchment paper just like when you buy them on the street - they can get a bit messy and hard to eat otherwise.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Yield: 4 sandwiches.
- 4 medium portobello mushrooms
- 6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 red onion
- 2 avocados
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1 4-ounce jar sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil
- 1 large cucumber
- 4 large thick Venezuelan-style arepas (make 1/2 of this recipe)
- Boursin or blue cheese (optional)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Prepare the arepas: Follow this recipe, but cut recipe in half for enough masa (dough) to make 4 large arepas. Shape the masa into four arepas, about 4 inches in diameter and just under 1/2 inch thick. Cover them with plastic wrap and set aside.
- Drain and coarsely chop the sun-dried tomatoes.
- Thinly slice the red onion, and place sliced onion into a bowl of salted water. Set aside.
- Whisk 4 tablespoons olive oil, the vinegar, the garlic, the garlic and the Dijon mustard together. Season dressing with salt and pepper to taste.
- Wash and dry the portobello mushrooms. Remove stems and slice mushrooms in half horizontally. Brush both sides of the mushroom slices with the oil and vinegar mixture. Heat a heavy skillet or grill (add 1 tablespoon olive oil to skillet, or brush grill rack with olive oil), and cook the mushrooms, turning once, brushing them with more dressing as they cook, until they are well browned on each side. Remove them from the heat and set them on a plate. Some liquid may "sweat" out of the mushrooms as they cool.
- Slice the cucumber into thin slices. Season them with salt and pepper. Brush some olive oil on the grill, or add a bit of olive oil to the skillet, and cook the cucumber slices in the same way as the mushrooms, until soft and lightly browned. Remove from heat and set aside.
- In the same skillet (brush with more olive oil if necessary), cook the arepas on low heat, until crispy and browned on both sides, about 8-10 minutes total. Remove from heat and let cool briefly.
- Drain the onions. Peel and slice the avocado into thin slices and drizzle them with lime juice.
- Assemble the sandwiches: Slice/split the arepas horizontally, almost all the way across. Spread inside of arepa with boursin or blue cheese if desired. Fill each sandwich with 2 slices of portobello, avocado slices, cucumber slices, red onion, and 1/4 of the chopped sun-dried tomatoes. Serve immediately.