Published April 17, 2013 - Last Updated April 23, 2021
It’s high time that I send some love to the Portobello mushroom. Many vegetarians use Portobellos as a natural alternative to meat– for example, to replace the beef on a hamburger. The Portobello’s meaty taste and texture come from exposed gills beneath the large mushroom cap, which can measure up to 6 inches in diameter. As air moves through the gills, moisture evaporates, resulting in a rich and hearty mushroom you can really sink your teeth into. Truth is, Portobello mushrooms are a large, fully grown relative of the crimini mushroom, those small brownish-white mushrooms you buy in cellophane-wrapped boxes at the grocery store. During the 1980’s, mature crimini mushrooms were given the “fancier” name of Portobello, resulting in increased consumer interest. Portobellos quickly became one of the most popular mushrooms on the market, prized for their size and meaty flavor. You may be surprised to learn that one Portobello mushroom contains more potassium than a banana, as well as some powerful antioxidants… which means they’re really good for you, too!
In my home we eat vegetarian most of the time, and Portobellos have become a regular part of our meal rotation. I love roasting them with salt, pepper, and a bit of olive oil. They don’t need marination or added spices; a simple roast in the oven is enough to bring out a ton of flavor. A couple of weeks ago, I roasted some Portobellos along with a bunch of fresh asparagus, which is just coming into season here in California. The natural sweet and savory flavors of both vegetables fully emerged after roasting. Combining the two roasted vegetables proved to be a magical flavor combination. I whipped up a warm, creamy goat cheese sauce to pour on top (the sauce isn’t overly “goaty” thanks to the added milk and cayenne). A sprinkle of toasted pine nuts and flat leaf parsley on top completes the dish.
It’s hard to find words to describe how much I love this healthy, low carb vegetarian entree. It combines some of my favorite flavors into one tantalizing dish. You won’t miss the meat. Enjoy!
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Other Great Recipe Ideas
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Domestic Fits: Portobello Mushroom Benedict with Sriracha Hollandaise
Thanks for stopping by! I am fascinated by the story behind the food – why we eat what we eat, how the foods of different cultures have evolved, and how yesterday’s food can inspire us in the kitchen today. Read more...