This past Sunday, The Chronicle featured an article about bay area vegan chefs who are getting a lot of attention for their creativity. This recipe was adapted from the article, simplified for time's sake (I have a 2-year-old and an 8-month-old!) I made the aioli they suggested; and while good, I decided it wasn't necessary. I was in the mood for a little goat cheese and that went well with the mushroom and caramelized fennel & onion. Speaking of which, I added more fennel and less onion, but feel free to play with the amounts that suit you. Of course, if you want to keep it vegan, whip up that aoili and omit the cheese. I made everything at lunch and assembled it quickly at dinner time. Served with sweet potato fries and a nice Zinfandel (I recommend Turley), no one will be asking: "where's the beef?"
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons fresh ground pepper
4 portobello mushrooms, stems removed
Preheat oven to 400F. Mix up the oil, soy sauce and pepper and rub over the mushrooms. Baked on rimmed baking sheet for 15 min.
Caramelized Fennel & Onion
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 red onion, sliced into thin crescents
1 medium fennel bulb, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon organic cane sugar
1/4 cup dry red wine
1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
salt & pepper to taste
Add oil to skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and fennel and cook 5 min. Add the sugar and cook 1 min. Add the red wine and vinegar and cover, reduce heat, simmer for 10 min. Remove lid and cook until liquid evaporates, about 5-10 more min.
4 rolls (I bought whole wheat buns, but get whatever suits your fancy)
4 Romaine leaves, torn
Goat cheese or Caper Aioli or both (or for the truly time constrained: dijon and/or mayo)
Preheat oven to 400F. Slice mushrooms and arrange on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Top with the fennel/onion mixture. Bake for 5 min. Warm rolls in the oven as well, then assemble with the lettuce, cheese, etc.