“Portobello mushrooms are so meaty in texture that they are often thought of as the vegetarian answer to steak,” says Sasha Muniak. In other words, serve this as a main course or side dish. Easy as is, this can be made easier still: Substitute classic pesto, made with basil, from the jar.
If you do have time, there is a way to enhance this already lovely combination. Add a dozen or so roasted shallots to the platter.
6 large portobello mushroom caps, 3 inches in diameter
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
Parsley pesto (recipe below)
Preheat the grill or broiler.
Brush the portobellos with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Place the mushrooms, stem side up, on a medium-hot grill or under the broiler, about 5 inches from the heat, and grill or broil for about 5 minutes. Turn and cook for 3 minutes more. Set aside to cool.
Arrange the grilled portobellos on a serving platter and serve the pesto in a bowl alongside.
Prepping in Advance: The pesto can be made 1 week in advance. Cover and store in the refrigerator. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour before serving. The mushrooms can be grilled several hours ahead. Let cool, cover, and hold at room temperature.
P A R S L E Y P E S T O
This can be used in countless ways, and unlike Classic Pesto it can be made year-round because of the availability of parsley. We like this best on sandwiches and panini. The variation with capers is tasty with turkey or pork, in particular.
2 cups packed flat-leaf parsley leaves
3 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons walnuts
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Wash and pat the parsley leaves dry. Peel and trim the garlic.
Put the parsley, garlic, walnuts, salt, and pepper in a food processor and process until finely chopped. With the motor running, pour the olive oil through the feed tube into the machine in a slow stream, and blend to a smooth emulsion.
Transfer the pesto to a serving bowl. Keep covered in a container in the refrigerator for 1 week.