Portabello, Broccoli, and Red-Pepper Melts


Susan and I like to have at least one day a week when we do not eat meat so I am always trying new ideas and recipes in that regard. Tonight’s meatless meal was very delicious and extremely satisfying. Here’s what I did:


1 head broccoli florets (about 2 cups)
2 tablespoon olive oil
Kosher salt and ground pepper
4 portabello mushrooms sliced about ½ inch thick (stems removed)
2 red bell peppers seeds removed and sliced into strips
¼ cup mayonnaise
2 cloves garlic crushed and then minced
4 thick slices sourdough bread sliced about 1″ thick
4 ounces Gouda cheese, shredded


Spread broccoli out on 9 x 17 jelly roll baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Broil, tossing occasionally, until broccoli begins to char, about 6 minutes.



Add mushrooms and bell peppers to sheet, and toss again to mix vegetables. Return to broiler and broil, once again tossing occasionally, until vegetables are tender; about 10 minutes more. Remove from broiler and set aside.



While vegetables are broiling, combine mayonnaise and garlic in a glass bowl. You may want to season with salt and pepper. Place bread on another baking sheet and divide mayonnaise garlic spread between the bread slices and spread evenly. Top with vegetables, then cheese. Broil until cheese is melted and lightly browned, about 5 minutes.

Roasted Red Pepper Soup

A couple weeks ago I had the pleasure of preparing a prom dinner for my son Gregory, his date, and several of their friends at the Benton County Historical Society’s Ray House in Vinton, Iowa. The dinner menu had a very classic theme: A roasted red pepper soup for a starter, filet mignon with a herb steak butter, herbed potato mashers, green beans almondine, and finally a crème brûlée for dessert. This soup can easily be made vegetarian by substituting the chicken broth with vegetable broth.

I will be sharing a couple of the recipes from this dinner in my next couple posts. First is the roasted red pepper soup.


4 Red Bell Peppers roasted, seeded & peeled
2 tablespoons Butter
1 Red Onion Chopped
2 Garlic Cloves Minced
4 Cup Chicken or Vegetable Broth
1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
Kosher Salt And Pepper to taste


Saute onions and garlic in butter until soft. Add red peppers. Cook for about 5 minutes. Add broth and simmer for 20 minutes. Add lemon juice. Process in food processor until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Place back on stove until ready to serve.

Additional note

This soup can easily be made the day before, but if you roast the peppers in advance it goes together very quickly. Serves 4-6. I float a sprig of basil or parsley on top for a nice colorful touch. I often add a dollop of crème fraîche when serving but it’s great naked!