Grilling season is under way and when the days are warm I like to use the barbecue as much as possible to keep the house cooler. Using portabella mushrooms is an adaptation—for summer barbecuing—of an appetizer I like to serve during winter. (As an appetizer, stuffed button mushroom caps are so enjoyable when paired with white wine.) The summer version is basically the same, but for easier handling on the barbecue, portabella mushrooms are an excellent choice, one large mushroom cap per person is a perfect accompaniment to any main meal. If you wish to use button mushrooms on the barbecue, just leave them on the broiler pan for easier handling.
When making stuffed mushrooms, to fill the stem cavity, your imagination is the only limitation. I’ve used ground beef, quinoa and other vegetables as well. The binder is cheese and you have a variety to choose from here too; using your favorite is almost a guarantee you are going to enjoy the dish you create. When it comes to herbs, my first choice is to use summer fresh when possible but during winter, the natural compliment is dried.
Stuffed Button Mushrooms
- 24 medium sized button mushrooms
- 1 tbsp melted butter or cooking oil
- 1 medium onion
- ½ cup pine nuts—optional although it adds nice flavor
- 1 tsp dried thyme or 3 tsp minced fresh
- 1 tsp each dried rosemary and winter savory
- 1 tsp granulated garlic or a clove of fresh put through a garlic press
- 1-2 tsp tamari soy sauce
- 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
- A dusting of dried parsley
–Mushrooms have a delicate flavor that is easily diluted. They should never be immersed in water but if they do have a lot of soil on them, place in a colander to rinse with as little as possible. For full flavor just wipe clean with a damp cloth.
–Remove the mushroom stem by pushing it sideways and down; it should pop out easily.
–Place the caps on a broiler pan or cookie sheet cavity side up.
–Chop the stems into small pieces, transfer to a sauté pan.
–Dice the onion very small and add to the chopped mushroom.
–Sauté on medium heat onion, mushroom and pine nuts if using, in oil until the onion has turned from opaque to clear.
–Add thyme, rosemary, savory and garlic and continue to sauté until the herbs have become fragrant—another one to two minutes.
-Turn heat off, stir in the grated cheese until all is melted and thoroughly combined with the mushroom onion mixture.
–Using a spoon, fill each of the caps
–Sprinkle with dried parsley
–Bake at 375˚F 15 minutes then broil 1-2 minutes to toast the top.
–Allow to cool a little before serving.
Grilled Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms
For summer barbecue grilling, use Portobello mushrooms and your version of filling ingredients—fresh garden chives are a nice addition at this time of year. Brush the caps with a little olive oil before spooning the prepared filling into the cap then place directly on the barbecue. Grill 10 minutes on high heat.