Once upon a time there was a girl (me), a grill (ours), and a portobello (mushroom). But wait, I’m getting ahead of myself—-
Now that the weather is getting warmer, I look forward to having dinner outside on the deck. I can smell the smoky aroma of something sizzling on the grill; and I start to salivate just thinking about it. The only glitch in all of this is my somewhat shaky relationship with the grill. I depend on Mr. D. to fire it up and tend to whatever there is cooking on it while I finish the other parts of the meal in the kitchen. I admit I’m a “girly girl” and leave things like barbecue tools, fire starters and oven mitts to the man of the house. As a result we usually grill outside on the weekends or holidays when he is around.
On this day, however, my menu called for grilling portobello mushroom caps along with some vegetables for our meatless evening meal.
Big, meaty portobello caps remind me of hamburgers, so I was excited at the prospect of cooking them on the grill. I thought I could handle that, so I prepped the vegetables and cleaned the mushrooms in anticipation of my big moment(s) at the grill.
With a little smile on my face, thinking about the surprise I had in store, I went out to start the grill. After removing the cover and lifting the lid, I was ready to turn it on—-open the gas tank, rotate the start dial to High, and press the starter button. NOTHING HAPPENED. Try it again, repeat the previous actions. Still nothing. I know there’s gas in the tank. Review the directions in the manual. I seem to be doing everything right. Try one more time. Still nothing. I GIVE UP! I think I need grill starting lessons. Back into the kitchen I go to see how I can salvage a grilled meal not made on the grill.
Fortunately I have a grill pan and, although on the small side, I was able to make use of it to cook the various components for our dinner. Where everything was slated to go on the grill at one time, using the grill pan I cooked it in stages and then put it all together for what turned out to be a very nice dinner . A salad of grilled vegetables and beans tops portobellos smothered in cheese.
This is a meal that is low in calories (312), fat (20g), and carbohydrates (25). I think the meal would have been a little more tasty if it had been cooked on the grill because of the flavoring the vegetables would have absorbed, but we enjoyed it just the same. The directions I give here are the ones that go with the recipe for grilling outside, but the pictures show how I improvised. LOL!
GRILLED PORTOBELLOS WITH CHOPPED SALAD
Yield: 4 servings
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill, or 2 tsp. dried dill
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. pepper
- 4 large portobello mushroom caps, gills removed
- 1 15 oz. can small white beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 small bell peppers, quartered and seeded
- 1 medium red onion cut into 1/4-inch thick slices
- 1 medium zucchini, cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices
- 1 cup shredded cheese, such as cheddar, fontina, or swiss
1. Preheat grill to medium high.
2. Combine lemon juice, oil, dill, garlic, salt and pepper in a large bowl.
Add mushroom caps and turn to coat. Remove the mushrooms from the bowl. Add white beans; stir to coat.
3. Place mushroom caps gill-side up on the grill with peppers, onion and zucchini. Using a grill pan to contain all the vegetables, with the exception of the mushroom caps, keeps them from falling through the grates. Grill the vegetables, turning once or twice, until they start to char and soften; About 8 minutes for the mushrooms and 6 minutes for the rest.
4. Turn the mushrooms gill-side up again. Fill each one with 1/4 cup cheese and grill until the cheese is melted, about 1 minute more.
5. Chop peppers, onion and zucchini and add to the bowl with the beans; toss to combine.
Top each mushroom with about 1 cup of the grilled salad. Oh, Yum! this was sooo good.
P.S. This post would have been more aptly named “Along Came a Spider”, because on investigation Mr. D. found a spider’s nest in the gas line that blocked the flow of gas to the starter button. Defeated by a spider. Dang!
SOURCE: EATING WELL