Quick—what's the difference between a crimini and a portobello mushroom? If you said only their size, then you are correct. They are the same mushroom, but at different maturity levels. Criminis are the young'uns, and once they grow to a full 4 to 6 inches, they become the more mature portobello.
Portobellos are probably one of the most commonly known mushrooms to vegans and vegetarians. At most events or at most restaurants, if a cook is looking for a meat replacer, he or she reaches for a portobello. This has sorta given me a bad attitude about this type of mushroom because they can cause some people to stay away from making new creative vegetarian dishes. However, I recently gave portobellos another shot and realized that my bad attitude was, well, just that.
When properly prepared—in my opinion, this means not overly marinated or overly cooked—portobellos can have a great meaty texture and earthy, delicious flavor. My recipe for portobello steaks calls for marinating them in an oil, white wine, lemon, and garlic blend for a nice light flavor. You can eat these "steaks" on a bun if you'd like, but I prefer to just eat them plain. This way, you can really taste all of the flavors instead of burying them under a pile of bread and condiments. Enjoy!
Grilled Portobello Mushroom Steaks4 large portobello mushrooms1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil1/4 cup dry white wine1 lemon, juiced2 cloves garlic, mincedSalt and pepper, to taste
Makes 4 servings
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