Use a panini press if you have one, but a grill pan or heavy skillet works well.
|1||red bell pepper, halved and cored|
|2||large portobello mushroom caps|
|1 1/2||tablespoons olive oil|
|Salt and pepper, to taste|
|1||clove garlic, finely chopped|
|1/2||teaspoon dried thyme|
|6||to 8 ounces plain goat cheese|
|1/4||cup chopped pitted green or black olives|
|8||slices sourdough, country, or multigrain bread|
|1||cup fresh baby spinach|
|Olive oil (for brushing)|
1. Light the broiler. Broil the red peppers, skin side up, for 4 to 5 minutes or until they blacken. Place in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside for 5 minutes. Peel off the skins. Slice the pepper into thin strips and cut crosswise into 1-inch lengths.
2. Using a small spoon, scrape out the black gills on the undersides of the mushroom caps. Cut the caps in half and then slice crosswise.
3. In a skillet over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil. Cook the mushrooms, salt, and pepper, stirring often, for 5 minutes or until the mushrooms release their liquid and the liquid evaporates. Stir in the garlic and thyme; cook 1 minute more. Cool to room temperature.
4. In a small bowl, mix together the goat cheese, olives, capers, mushrooms, and red pepper. Divide the mixture among 4 slices of bread. Top with spinach and cover with the remaining bread. Brush olive oil on the top bread slices.
5. Heat a heavy skillet over medium heat. Place sandwiches in the skillet, oiled sides down. Top with a large, heavy pot. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until the bottoms are golden. Sprinkle the top bread slices with oil. Turn the sandwiches, replace the pot, and continue cooking for 2 to 3 minutes or until the bottoms are golden. Cut the sandwiches in half on a diagonal.
Adapted from “In a Cheesemaker’s Kitchen’’