Much like my eggplant revelation of summer 2008, it took me awhile to *warm up* to mushrooms. I think it was just years of mismanagement in restaurants and various potluck dinners… I had just never had a good mushroom dish. I ate them – primarily shiitake or the maitake variety – because I read that they were good for me, but I never really liked them. (And remember: I rarely meet a plant-food that I don’t like!)
…and then I had an amazing mushroom dish… and it was just so simple, but well done and delicious… and I started wanting *more* of these fungi.
Now I am eating up the mushrooms left and right. Who knew? All I had to do was prepare it myself with other delicious ingredients! In the past few weeks, Kris and I have enjoyed several different Portabello dishes, chantrelle-stuffed poblanos, crimini tofu omelet, shiitake stir-fry… and all of them have been so mouth-watering good.
Adapted from Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook, the book that I blogged about before, I have made these roasted Portabellos once each week since the beginning of July. (I must thank my dear parents for setting my on this path with the delicious Portabellos I ate at their house on July 4th!) The recipe is so so simple. My changes were the result of experimentation – I found the original a tad too salty, and I wanted to add some garden-fresh herbs. If you do not have fresh herbs, you can use dried herbs, but the taste will be much better with fresh!
- 4 medium to large portabello caps
- 2 T tamari or soy sauce (tamari for lower sodium and gluten-free - you can reduce this to even a smaller amount if desired)
- 2 T balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 c cooking wine
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 stem rosemary
- 1 stem marjoram
- 2 sprigs thyme
- ground pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix ingredients in a casserole dish (I use a 9 x 12 glass dish) and spoon the mixed marinade into the upturned mushroom caps. It will bead at the surface, but you can push the spoon into the small crevices. Leave some marinade to pool at the bottom of the dish. Cover with foil and cook for 20 minutes. With tongs, flip the mushroom caps face down and cook for an additional 10 minutes. (I remove the foil for the final 10 minutes).
I like to serve the portabellos in several ways – on top of quinoa or a salad, or as part of a sandwich. If you have fresh ingredients available (tomato, lettuce, pickles) the mushroom tastes perfect as a burger.
In my experience, thyme has such a lush and savory taste – it really can make a whole dish taste amazing. We have grown it for years in our herb garden, but it was not until two or three summers ago that I began to use it in meals. It really balances out tomato dishes, and brings depth to ingredients like mushrooms, potatoes, or tofu.
My foodie summer continues… I have so enjoyed all the baking and making this season. It is so satisfying to sit down to a delicious meal and to feel no regrets afterward. What a liberating feeling it is to know that my food is clean, nourishing both my body and my soul!
Of course, some of the best summertime menus are not even cooked at all…
Cucumbers, heirloom tomatos, dill from the garden with greens and pinenuts