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Italian Sausage Melt

by Michele Pesula Kuegler | September 2nd, 2007 | Recipes, Sandwiches
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Being without children the other day, we were able to browse while grocery and baby shopping. As we walked leisurely through our favorite small and funky grocery store, we were able to find new products that we had not tried before.

When we arrived at the condiment aisle, we discovered many unique sauces and dips. One that was particularly interesting was a roasted red pepper and artichoke tapenade. Having just seen a cooking show that made muffeletta, we were inspired to create our own sandwich.

With this tapenade as a base, we began to brainstorm options for the other ingredients in our sandwich. I decided that an open-faced sandwich would allow us to make the sandwich less filling and have a melted cheese topping. My shopping partner found a package of crimini, oyster, and shittake mushrooms to add to the sandwich. I thought sausage would be perfect as the main ingredient, to which my partner suggested using the hot Italian variety. I chose sharp provolone cheese to melt atop the sandwich, and a loaf of whole wheat ciabatta bread was chosen as the base.

On the night of our meal, we found some baby onions that we decided would be a wonderful final touch to the sandwich. The sandwich was a delicious combination of flavors, which we paired with a Spanish red wine. While not a whole family favorite, it was enjoyed thoroughly by the two of us on Johnson Brothers Dinnerware.

*Note: This meal is best prepared by two, having one person handling the grilling, while the other prepares the other sandwich ingredients.

Italian Sausage Melt
Serves 2


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Ingredients
  1. 1 lb. hot Italian sausage
  2. 1/2 lb. crimini, oyster, and shittake mushrooms
  3. 6 small baby onions
  4. 1 loaf whole wheat ciabatta bread
  5. roasted red pepper artichoke tapenade
  6. 1/4 pound sliced sharp provolone
Instructions
  1. Fill frying pan with 1 inch of water. Add sausage, bring to a boil, and simmer for 15 minutes.
  2. While parboiling, heat grill.
  3. Wash and slice mushrooms. Place on a large piece of aluminum foil and top with a pat or two of butter.
  4. Fold foil to make a sealed package.
  5. Place parboiled sausage, mushroom packet, and small onions (with skins) on grill.
  6. Cook sausage and onions until brown, during which time the mushrooms should also be ready.
  7. While items are grilling, slice the bread in half horizontally. Use the length of bread that suits each diner’s appetite. Top bread with tapenade. Peel onions and slice. Put onions and mushrooms on tapenade. Slice grilled sausages in half lengthwise and place sausages on bread.
  8. Top sausages with provolone. Return sandwiches to grill, turning heat to low.
  9. Close grill and allow to cook until cheese is melted.
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