Open face sandwiches consist of a single slice of bread with one or more food toppings. They are popular in Europe where, in the Middle Ages, thick slabs of course bread called “trenchers” were used as plates. At the end of the meal, the food-soaked trencher was eaten by the diner. Wikipedia states (with tongue-in-cheek?): “Trenchers were as much the harbingers of open-face sandwiches as they were of disposable dishware”.
My recipe is a toasted open face sandwich adapted from a recipe I saw in a Martha Steward magazine. As stated in the magazine: “The broiler works double time for these knife-and-fork sandwiches, caramelizing the veggies, then melting the Gouda.”
Get out your favorite dishware (non-disposable) and give them a try!
1 small head broccoli (cut into small florets – no stalks)
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
4 Portobello mushrooms (stems removed – sliced into 2-inch wide strips)
1 12-ounce bottle Trader Joe’s Fire Roasted Red Peppers (drained)
¼ cup Vegenaise
1 small garlic clove (minced)
4 slices fresh French bread (sliced 1-inch thick)
4 ounces Gouda cheese (thinly sliced)
Heat broiler; with rack set 4 inches from heat.
On a rimmed baking sheet lined with aluminum foil, toss broccoli with oil; season with salt and pepper to taste. Broil, tossing once or twice, until broccoli begins to
char, 4 to 6 minutes. Add mushrooms and red peppers to sheet and toss to combine. Broil, tossing once or twice until vegetables are tender, 8 to 10 minutes more; set aside.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine Vegenaise and garlic; season with salt and pepper to taste. Place bread on a work surface. Spread with Vegenaise mixture. Top with slices of mushroom, the remaining vegetables and then the cheese.
Place sandwiches on baking sheet and broil until cheese is melted and lightly browned, 2 to 4 minutes.