Summer Days Don’t Always Include Dinner


Apparently, I lose complete control of my home when summer vacation starts.  My kids no longer have a bed time.  A couple of nights they have been awake when the 10:00 news came on but, I think at least once they have been in bed by 6:30 p.m. when all of the sisterly love (ie. hitting, yelling, tattling, etc.) got to be a bit too much for me to handle.  Goldfish crackers have made their way onto the breakfast menu and they (the girls) have played with bubble wands in the back yard while still wearing their night gowns.  I don’t care because I was beyond ready for school to be over.  I am hoping that by the time August rolls around, I will be rejuvenated and ready to get back in the swing of things. I’m not counting on it, though.  Until then,  if I’m not at home, you can probably find me at the neighborhood pool, third lounge chair from the gate, under the shade cover.

Oh, and dinner…yea, see…I don’t really get into dinner in the summer.  Usually, by the time the girls and I make our way home we’re too tired and hot to really eat much.  Honestly, I only cook when the spirit moves me  and that could take weeks!  I do dig sandwiches, though.  They’re light, easy and I don’t have to spend too much time in the kitchen.  A good BLT, reuben or grilled chicken…yum, perfect for a summer dinner.  Wait!  Grilled Portabella  Sandwiches!  One of my all time favorites and so perfect in hot weather. I know, I know, all of you carnivores out there are thinking “Where’s my meat?!”  However, this sandwich is really satisfying.  Trust me, you will be okay.   Here’s a recipe that I got from Fine Cooking magazine a while ago and I love it.  Even my girls love it.

Grilled Portabella Sandwiches with Tomatoes, Mozzarella & Basil Recipe

Grilled Portabella Sandwiches


  • Vegetable oil for the grill
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (1/2 oz.)
  • 1 Tbs. minced garlic (3 to 4 medium cloves)
  • 4 good-quality sandwich rolls, cut in half
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
  • 4 large portabella mushrooms, stems and gills removed and discarded and caps wiped clean
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 to 8 thin slices fresh mozzarella or sharp provolone
  • 1/2 cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves (about 1/2 oz.)
  • 2 medium ripe tomatoes, sliced (about 9 oz.)

Heat a gas grill with all burners on high. Clean and oil the grate.

In a small bowl, mix the mayonnaise, Parmigiano, and 1 tsp. of the garlic; spread the mixture over the cut sides of each roll.

In another small bowl, whisk the olive oil, vinegar, and the remaining 2 tsp. garlic. Brush the oil mixture over both sides of each mushroom cap and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Grill the mushrooms, gill side down, until grill-marked, about 3 minutes. Flip and continue to grill until cooked through, about 3 minutes more. Reduce the heat to low, flip the mushrooms again, and top each with a portion of cheese. Put the rolls, cut sides up, on the grill along with the mushrooms. Cover the grill and cook until the rolls are crisp and warm and the cheese melts, 2 to 3 minutes.

Put the rolls and mushrooms on a platter. Arrange a few basil leaves on the bottom half of each roll. Sprinkle the tomatoes lightly with salt. Put the tomatoes and then the mushrooms on the basil leaves. Cap the sandwiches with the tops of the rolls and serve.

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