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Vegan Caprese Panini

Frankie Celenza

For anyone with a dairy allergy, chanterelle mushrooms offer a fatty flavor that is the perfect replacement for cheese.

Mushrooms as a Replacement for Cheese


  • 1/2 pound chanterelle mushrooms, cubed

  • 1 clove garlic, minced

  • Olive oil

  • 1 to 2 tomatoes on the vine, sliced

  • 8-10 basil leaves

  • 4 slices crusty Italian bread

  • Salt and pepper


  1. In a medium pan, sautè mushrooms and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Add olive oil to the pan once the mushrooms have released any liquid and they start to look a little dry. Continue to sautè for a few minutes. Remove from heat.

  2. Using some of the oil from the mushrooms, brush oil on the bottom of two slices of bread. Add tomatoes to each slice and season with salt. Add some basil leaves and the mushroom mixture. Top each with another piece of bread and brush more oil on the top of the sandwiches.

  3. Put in a panini press and toast until golden brown.

 Mushrooms as a Replacement for Cheese




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- We're you of the era of the three quarter pants? - Yes. - Do you remember what they were called? - Capri pants. - Because of the island of Capri. Which is where the salad comes from. - Oh. - Caprese. So, first of all, who are you? - I'm Sam and I work at Tastemade. - This is Sam, she works at Tastemade. What is the problem that you have, Sam? - I have a dairy allergy. Specifically to casein. It's a colossal bummer. - Okay so here's what I've found, Sam. I have found that mushrooms can be very meaty, but certain ones like these chanterelles, they aren't meaty, but they're super flavorful and fatty, like a good ball of motz. So I thought we'd make a caprese salad vegan. - Cool. - For you. - Let's do it. - Okay, do you mind cutting some bread? - I'll cut some bread. - There's a knife right there, it should work pretty well. - Do you have a slice thickness preference? - It's really up to you. - Alright. - We definitely want two pieces that are the same size. - [Sam] Cool. - So that we can make a sandwich that fits. Sam. - Yes. - This is garlic. - Love garlic. - It is in a pan. I've cubed up these chanterelles and I'm just gonna cook them completely. - Just straight on the pan? - Dry. Yes. - Cool. - They'll release some liquid some liquid, and then at the end, we'll put some oil to add some nice fats into them. What's your favorite part of working at Tastemade? - Oh gosh. Working with the lovely people like you, of course. - Oh, I think it's, I think it's the wonderful food around you at all times. - That's true, there's food everywhere, it's great. - So, you like tomato? - I do. - [Chef] Okay. Ooh, this is a really sharp knife today, I am very pleased. - [Sam] Okay. - [Chef] You can see them sweating just a little bit. - Oh yeah. - Have you been working on your pan tossing? - I have. - Yeah? Come on. - Oh god. - No, no, no, nice and easy, just be good, you're good. - Oh god, okay. Oh god. - That's good Sam, no, that's good, come on. - Yeah? - Feel it, feel it, feel it. - Feelin' it. Becoming one with the pan. - [Chef] See, okay, they're burning a little bit. - They're burnin'. - So look, look, look. Go, go in circles, around. - Like that? - Oh yeah, oh yeah. Toss that. - It's on fire. - Come on, this is why we like working at Tastemade, that's gorgeous, oh my goodness. - Flames going everywhere. - That's cool. - [Sam] It's beautiful. Okay. - Okay. - Okay. - See them shrinking? Tell me what you feel. - Ooh. - Do you see how the texture has the bounce of a ball of mozzarella? - Mozzarella. - See what I have here? It's a paint brush. What I'd like you to do is lift this tomato bread up for me. - [Sam] Okay. - And then get some of our... up high, up high. - Up-- - Up, up, up, yes. I have to paint the bottom of it. Yes, this is very nice. - So we stick it in like panini crust. - Sam, we have to be vertically together. - Oops. - Okay, so this is, this is gonna be good. We're getting flavor and fat into the, into the sandwich. Fantastic. - Go team. - Professional, you are hired. Also, very important, with tomatoes, is this white substance. Okay, now we're gonna put some leaves of basil. We can charge $12.95 for this somewhere. - Toast is trendy these days. - The toast is open-face only, is it not? - We can charge double for this then. - Here come chanterelles. Chanterelles. - Let's just... - Something like that. - Panini press. Cool. - Okay, ooh that's good. I also think we're trying to mimic the flavors that's gonna use a lot of processed ingredients. So using natural ingredients to get similar textures and milkiness, and, you know, water content. That's our goal here. Can we take a peak? - Is it time? - That looks pretty good to me, Sammy. - Let's do it. - Okay. - Want a spatula? - Oh, this is a spatula. - Is that it? - Is that not cheesy-like? - Looks cheesy. Beautiful. - If you skimp out on the ingredients because there are so few, it's gonna be bad. - Yep. - So we don't have cheese, but we have a great supplement replacement for it, a high-quality mushroom. I think you should take this. - [Sam] Am I gonna burn my face off? - And we're done, I'll test the waters with my toe before you. - Oh, thank you. Mm, it's good though. It's warm, but it's good. - So, caprese is the normal salad. - Yep. - There's another island, pretty close to Capri, that nobody's heard of. It's called Panarella. - Panarella. - That's the Panarese. - Panarese. - What do you think? - I kinda dig it. - Kinda amazing, okay.

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