Now that the holidays are over, we are back to our usual routine in the kitchen. No more batches of cookies baked in excessive numbers, no more turkeys or steaks served alongside generous portions of creamy, buttery carb-laden goodness. It’s a new year and time to eat lighter – and since it’s winter, it’s also time to eat as nutritiously as possible 😉
The sandwich below is perfect this season because it has key ingredients to build up energy and to replenish lost vitamins and minerals. It’s vegetarian and protein-packed, with proteins coming from several kinds of mushrooms: cremini, portobello (mature cremini mushrooms), and shiitake. It also has watercress, which should come as no surprise to you if you’ve been following this blog for awhile and have read my previous posts about watercress and my love for this rather underutilized veggie. Packed full of nutrients and easy to digest, watercress has a slightly peppery taste, which makes it the ideal partner to the robust mushroom flavor. Add a few sprigs of young asparagus, and you have the perfect light lunch or dinner option – all homemade and delicious!
I took advantage of DH’s grilling outside for the first time in weeks (!) and asked him to grill the portobello mushroom (I only needed one for this sandwich) and the asparagus after lightly brushing them with extra virgin olive oil and adding a dash of salt and pepper.
As for the cremini and shiitake mushrooms, I brushed them with extra virgin olive oil, sprinkled salt and pepper, and roasted them in the preheated oven for about half an hour. The contrast between the oven roasted and grilled flavors of the mushrooms is so delightful!
I chopped a handful of watercress finely and mixed it with crumbled feta, sour cream and salt and pepper to taste.
The mixture has to be homogeneous and easy to spread.
The choice of bread is very important with any sandwich. For this particular sandwich I used Silver Hills’ Squirrelly Bread, which was recently on sale at my local grocery store. This bread has a nice crunchy texture (due to the sesame and sunflower seeds), no less than 22g whole grains per slice, and it’s sturdy enough to hold the weight of the other ingredients in the sandwich.
Cover one side of each slice evenly with about 1tbsp of sour cream, feta & watercress mixture…
…then add one grilled portobello mushroom cap on the slice of bread which will be at the bottom of the sandwich. Add another layer of the sour cream, feta & watercress mixture and two shiitake mushroom caps.
After yet another layer of sour cream, feta & watercress, add two cremini mushroom caps…
…and the asparagus. I folded it to make it more manageable – not a difficult thing to do since the grilled sprigs are so tender!
Finish off with a handful of watercress…
… and with what I would call a “naughty” surprise element. In my case, these were a couple of sea salt potato chips. Who would have thought of finding potato chips inside this sandwich? Here’s what makes it a bit naughty – but overall nice, nevertheless 😉
Add the second slice of bread and press the sandwich gently.
Cut the sandwich in half and serve it with extra chips on the side – if you dare, lol
Here it is: my three mushroom & watercress sandwich, with grilled asparagus and “naughty” potato chips. I predict watercress will be the next superfood sweeping America. Get it while you can – and bon appétit! 🙂