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 Steaks
4 large portobello mushrooms
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 lemon, juiced
2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and pepper, to taste
- Remove the stems of the mushrooms and brush off any dirt to clean.
- In a medium bowl or pan, combine the oil, wine, lemon juice, and garlic, stirring until combined. Add the cleaned mushrooms caps and submerge in the marinade. Let sit for 20 to 30 minutes.
- Remove from the marinade and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Place the caps on a grill over medium-high heat and cook for 3 to 4 minutes per side, until just tender.
Makes 4 servings