Did you know that only the peasants used to eat portabello mushrooms? The wealthier citizens used to eat the prettier, typical white mushrooms. Portabellos were recently ‘discovered’ by foodies. They have a deep, mellow flavor, are ‘meaty’ and filling, something difficult to attain with many vegetarian dishes. Here is a tasty vegetarian recipe that is pretty quick and really delicious. Make sure the mushrooms are not broken, and it might be a good idea to buy a few extra in case you break one while cleaning them. This recipe serves four, and takes about 30 minutes or less to set up, and 10 to 15 minutes for the grilling. It is adapted from a recipe in The Weber cookbook, Real Grilling.
1 10 oz bag baby spinach, rinsed 1/2 cup finely chopped yellow onion 1 tsp crushed garlic 1 cup finely diced ripe tomato, drained 1/4 cup oil-packed sun dried tomatoes, chopped 1/4 cup pitted, roughly chopped Kalamata olives Freshly ground black pepper Kosher salt if desired 4 portabello mushrooms, 4 + inches wide 1/4 + Vigo Plain breadcrumbs Parmesan cheese to sprinkle on top, shaved or grated.
Cook spinach in a small saute pan until wilted, drain in a colander and when cool roll in a paper towel to remove any remaining water. Roughly chop until about 1 cup remains. Wipe out saute pan and cook onion in 1-2 TBS olive oil until translucent. Add garlic for about 1 minute, watching to make sure it does not get brown. Add the fresh tomatoes, cooking 2 minutes. Add the spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, olives, 1/4 tsp salt, and about 10 or more grinds of pepper from your pepper mill. Cook on low heat until all liquid is absorbed, cool a bit, then stir in spinach, and then breadcrumbs a couple of TBS at a time until the mixture holds together nicely. Clean the portabellos by rinsing off dirt or using a wet paper towel. Dry thoroughly, then scrape out the black gills using a sharp, serrated knife. Be careful, as it is easy to break them. Grill smooth side up for 5 minutes, on medium heat but directly over the heat. Remove carefully, then stuff with the tomato mixture. If you want you can sprinkle some bread crumbs, (lightly tossed in about 1/2 TBS olive oil), then return them to the grill for an additional 5-10 minutes, medium heat again, watch closely. Remove and sprinkle with some parmesan cheese. Enjoy!