New This Month

Sort of a Hero Sandwich


Layers of bread hold this multilevel vegetable sandwich together. To transport: Place it on a round board or flat plate, and wrap tightly in plastic. Unwrap and slice just before serving.

  • Servings: 8

Source: Martha Stewart Living, July/August 1996


  • 1 large round loaf bread
  • 6 large portobello mushrooms, stems trimmed to 1/2 inch
  • Olive oil, for brushing
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large fennel bulb, thinly sliced
  • 7 medium tomatoes, cored and sliced
  • 1 small red onion, (4 ounces), peeled, thinly sliced, and rings separated
  • 2 large yellow peppers, roasted, peeled, and cut lengthwise into thick slices
  • 6 cups fresh basil leaves, washed
  • Creamy Tomato Dressing


  1. Cut bread in half horizontally. Using a short serrated knife, carve out insides of bread, in whole pieces if possible. Using a long serrated knife, thinly slice inside pieces. Cover; set aside. Pull out any remaining bread from crusts, leaving 1/4-inch bread border. Cover crusts; set aside.

  2. Thinly slice mushrooms. Heat a grill to medium hot, or place a grill pan over high heat. Brush mushrooms with olive oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill until tender, 2 to 3 minutes per side.

  3. Brush fennel with oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill until tender, 3 to 4 minutes per side.

  4. Arrange filling in bottom of bread: First, cover with half the tomatoes, then half the onions. Sprinkle with salt and pepper; drizzle with 3 tablespoons dressing. Cover with 1 cup basil, and top with a layer of sliced bread. The second layer is made up of half the mushrooms, then salt and pepper, dressing, basil, and bread. The third layer is peppers, salt and pepper, dressing, basil, and bread. The fourth layer is the remaining mushrooms, salt and pepper, dressing, basil, and bread. The fifth layer is fennel, salt and pepper, dressing, basil, and bread. The last layer is the remaining tomatoes, onions, salt and pepper, dressing, and basil.

  5. Place top of bread on bottom half, enclosing vegetables. Wrap with plastic; weight with heavy books. Let stand 45 minutes.

  6. Unwrap sandwich. Using a large serrated knife, cut into eight wedges.

Reviews Add a comment

  • peacelovea23647
    5 NOV, 2015
    This has cottage cheese in the dressing so it is not vegan :(
  • nmharleyrider
    22 MAY, 2014
    Definitely not as good as a muffaletta. Way too many bread layers and such a soggy mess when it was all done and pressed. I will go back to my panini recipes or my muffaletta recipe. Disastrous
  • luv2cookluv2eat
    27 DEC, 2011
    Absolutely awful. This recipe took 3 hrs to complete and the end result was a salty soggy holy mess. It was so bad I threw out 3/4 of the sandwich. I dare Ms. Stewart to demo this on her show. Oh and it was damn pricey too. Waste of time and energy. I could have slapped a couple of raw veggies and cheese between two slices of bread and made a better sandwich. Arrgh!!!
  • c6430hp
    1 OCT, 2011
    Upon first read this piece of advice may sound elementary, but it's worth heeding: buy the bread first. Outside of specialty bakeries, huge loaves are rare as hen's teeth. After you choose the bread, then buy the veggies. In my case, I bought the veggies first, then the bread; i.e., I had more veggies than I needed. Lastly, I quit grilling years ago, so I roasted the veggies to a grilled effect. The sandwich was great. And very healthy.