We just aren’t big grillers here at our house. Meat is pretty much never prepared and even though the weather has been divine, we have not been cooking outdoors. Two years ago we didn’t have a grill at all, until I salvaged one at Recycle Utah and Robbie spent a day fixing and cleaning it. That grill continues to serve us well and last night was its inaugural firing for the season.
I confess we still had some of last week’s arugula and spinach left in the fridge, looking decent but begging to be used. (Last Tuesday they were washed, spun-dry, wrapped in a kitchen towel and plastic baggies.)
more time for thyme in a jar with water
The thyme continues to be healthy, standing in a jar of water, also waiting. When my friend Teri came from Costco and shared her tray of portobellos and a pack of (sliced!) fresh mozzarella, that completed my cooking inspiration—it was time to break out the grill.
I posted a recipe for Chard-stuffed portobellos once, in 2010. This one is similar, with an easy marinade, different filling and cheese. Use my ideas to create your own recipe. E.g. since we have garlic scapes in our Ranui Gardens CSA box this week, consider chopping a few to sauté with the onion.
portobellos, gills scraped and with gills
Portobellos are really just overgrown mushrooms that the mushroom farmers cultivate. Some people don’t tell you to scrape out the dark brown, almost black gills on the inside of the cap, but your mushrooms will be more appealing if you do–those gills color everything they touch.
weed vs (organic) arugula
And speaking of appealing, I also think it important to strip the leaves from arugula stems. Those stems never soften like the spicy leaves, and I find the texture unpleasant. Besides, when you strip the stems, you can inspect the bundle and sort out any weeds that snuck into the pick.
Grilled Portobello Mushrooms stuffed with Spinach and Arugula
4 large portobello mushrooms
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
Real salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups arugula, packed
2 cups spinach leaves, packed
Extra virgin olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
Fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced and cut into pieces
Tomato sauce, optional
Using a spoon, scrape out and discard the dark gills from the portobellos. Cut off the stem so it is flush with the underside of the mushroom. In a shallow bowl whisk the vinegar, olive oil, thyme and plenty of salt and pepper to make a marinade. Add the mushrooms, turning them occasionally so all sides are flavored.
Pick through the arugula and spinach, striping away and discarding the tougher stems. Chop coarsely.
Heat a grill to medium high heat. Grill the marinated portobellos about 5 minutes on each side, until tender. Be sure to save the leftover marinade.
Meanwhile prepare the filling. Heat some oil in a large skillet on medium flame. Add the onion and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes, then add the garlic and cook another minute. Stir in the chopped greens and cook until they wilt. Add the leftover mushroom marinade and continue to cook and stir until the liquid evaporates. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Grilled Portobello Mushrooms Stuffed with Spinach and Arugula
When the portobellos are tender, transfer them to a plate, gill side up. Divide the spinach and arugula filling among the mushrooms. Arrange mozzarella on top, more or less, as you prefer. Return to the grill and cook about 10 minutes, until the cheese has melted and has a bit of color.
Serve with tomato sauce, if desired.
Makes 4 servings.
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