Portobello mushrooms have a substantial texture and hold well when grilled. They can be enjoyed as they are, with some spices, or you can get creative filling them up before cooking them on the grill or in the oven. Here is what I like to do.
- Portobello mushrooms (medium-size) – I use the packs of 6 from Publix or any other grocery store; the quantity will depend on how many people you want to feed 🙂 but plan on serving at least two per person
- 4 slices of uncured ham or Canadian bacon (you can also use some sausage or prosciutto)
- Feta cheese
- Parmesan cheese (optional)
- Bread crumbs
- Parsley (other herbs, optional)
- Olive oil
- Balsamic vinegar
- Soy sauce
Wash the mushrooms well and pat them dry. Remove the stems and set them aside. Remove the gills and discard them. Scoop up a little bit of the inside of the mushroom, and chop it finely, along with the stems.
Mix some olive oil with soy sauce and balsamic vinegar. Brush the mushrooms and set them aside for about 30 minutes, to allow the marinade to sink in. If you wish, you can skip the marinade.
Chop up some uncured ham or sausages in small pieces.
Make sure the feta is crumbled in small pieces.
Chop up the parsley. You can also mix in other fresh herbs, if you wish – I love fresh Greek oregano and sweet basil. You can also sprinkle some smoked tandoori or ancho chili powder for extra smokiness.
Mix the chopped mushrooms stems, ham, feta, bread crumbs, parsley, salt, and pepper together with a bit of olive oil (just enough to keep the mixture from falling apart). Sometimes I use an egg yolk to moisten the bread crumbs before I mix in the rest of the ingredients. Stuff each mushroom cap to the top. If you wish, you can sprinkle additional feta or add grated Parmesan on top.
Place the stuffed mushrooms on a grilling tray, stuffing side up. Grill at medium to low fire, until the cheese melts and the filling bubbles. Rotate them but don’t flip them over. It should take about 5-7 minutes, so keep an eye on them. You can also prepare them in the oven – use a baking tray with aluminum foil and bake at 350 F for about 20 minutes or so (keep an eye on them so they don’t overcook).
Summer or not, I always enjoy this simple appetizer for myself or when hosting a party. I hope you enjoy them too!