“It was a long a twisted road to arrive here at this mushroom melt. Funnily enough, the patty started off as my attempt to make a vegetarian “meatball” for a risotto dish when I was working at Double Zero.”


It was a long a twisted road to arrive here at this mushroom melt. Funnily enough, the patty started off as my attempt to make a vegetarian “meatball” for a risotto dish when I was working at Double Zero. It never worked out, but I was obsessed with the mushroom mix and kept eating it on toast for the rest of the week. When we started menu development for Recess I saw an opening for my toast topping. The mushroom melt pays homage to my childhood love for Steak’n’Shake (chocolate chip milkshake forever!), with a healthy dash of reuben thrown in for good measure (hands down my favorite American sandwich).

A food processor will make this recipe a breeze, but if you don’t have one a little bit of time and a knife will work just as well. The patty mix is a great make-ahead-on-Sunday project, it will keep well in the fridge for a week, so you can throw together an impressive weeknight sandwich spread with no effort!



Servings: 6 — PREP TIME: 20 MINUTES — total TIME: 1 hour


4 oz shiitake mushrooms (150 g)

10 oz cremini or white button mushrooms (300 g)

2 t salt

3 T olive or other vegetable oil

2 cloves garlic

1 shallot (or a few tablespoons chopped onion)

3.5 oz hazelnuts(100 g)

1 c panko breadcrumbs

1 c ricotta (full fat)

1 T soy sauce


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

  2. Remove the stems from the shiitake mushrooms. Cut all of the mushrooms into ¼” slices (it is ok to leave the stems in the creminis, just make sure they are clean and brush off any dirt). Toss the mushrooms with 2 T oil, salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 15 minutes, until the mushrooms have browned and look dried out.

  3. Put the hazelnuts on a baking sheet and toast for 6-8 minutes, they should be deeply golden, but not burnt, and smell delicious!

  4. In a pan heat the remaining tablespoon of oil. Slice the garlic, dice the shallot or onion. Saute the garlic and shallot in the pan until they are translucent and soft.

  5. Combine the roasted mushrooms, toasted hazelnuts, garlic and shallot in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until you have a chunky paste. If you don’t have a food processor, chop everything up as finely as you can. The cheese and breadcrumbs will hold the mix together, it will just be a bit coarser.

  6. In a large bowl, mix the mushroom paste, ricotta, breadcrumbs and soy sauce together until everything is evenly combined. Taste and add more salt if you want.


½head red cabbage, shredded

2 T olive oil

6 garlic (cloves)

1 t yellow mustard seeds

1 t caraway seeds

¾ c apple cider vinegar


  1. Heat the oil in a large sauté pan then add the garlic, mustard and caraway seeds. When the garlic is golden brown, add the cabbage and vinegar and stir to make sure the garlic doesn’t burn. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, 15-20 minutes until the cabbage is soft and bright purple.


1 loaf sliced rye bread

12 slices swiss cheese

½ c mayonnaise

¼ c whole grain mustard

1 c sauerkraut, or braised red cabbage (see below)


  1. For each sandwich, spread one slice of bread with a teaspoon of whole grain mustard and the other with one tablespoon of mayonnaise (less or more if you prefer). Put one slice of swiss cheese on each piece of bread. Spread a generous handful of mushroom mix on one slice of bread, making sure to pat it evenly from edge to edge. Top with a small handful of sauerkraut or braised red cabbage, and the remaining slice of bread.

  2. Toast each side of the sandwich in a pan (butter is best, but oil works too) for 2-3 minutes and then pop the sandwich in the oven for another 5 minutes to make sure it heats all the way through and the cheese is melted. (You can heat all the way in the pan, just keep an eye on it so as not to burn the bread!)



A staff favorite modification for the mushroom melt was to add extra mustard and order an extra side of mustard aioli to dip - the kick and acid from the mustard help compliment and cut through the cheesy richness of the sandwich. Serve with sweet potato chips for some crunch and sweetness for the perfect healthy-ish lunch!