I prepared a duck with pomegranate-walnut sauce for a recent Sunday dinner. I know it's April, but the weather was much more like fall than like spring, and a nice fall-type dish went perfectly with the weather. I was faced with a problem, though: what could I serve as a side dish to match the duck? Asparagus or artichokes would be seasonal, but would probably not go well with the duck. The weather was so cold, dark, raw, and damp that asparagus just didn't seem right anyway. I stood in the produce section, thought for a moment, and then I spotted the portobello mushrooms. I would give them a topping and then grill them.
I used feta to top the mushrooms, because it's easy to work with and doesn't make a mess when you expose it to heat. I used dill because I found some in the refrigerator and wanted to use it before it went bad, and also because it's supposed to have carminative properties. I added some parsley to that because I wanted to give it a nice, clean feeling. The garlic went in because Garlic Is Good For You and the walnuts went in because the sauce for the duck was made from walnuts and I wanted to have a little continuity between the flavors. Please let me say that nothing in the world could have been so easy as these mushrooms. I did use the outdoor grill, only because it was already on and warm. I could have just as easily cooked them under the broiler in my oven. They came out very well, if I do say so myself, and would probably make a decent vegetarian main dish as well as a side dish.
Grilled Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms (Serves 4 as a side dish or first course, 2 as a main course; approx. $2.62/side dish serving)
4 portobello mushroom caps, cleaned
2 tablespoons olive oil
3.5 oz feta
1/4 cup dill
1.4 cup parsley
2 tablespoons minced jarred garlic
1 cup walnuts
- Pastry brush
- Brush the tops and bottoms of the mushroom caps with olive oil. Reserve leftover oil.
- Coarsely chop the walnuts in the mini-prep. Add to a bowl.
- Crumble the feta into the bowl.
- Chop the dill and parsley and add to the bowl.
- Add the minced jarred garlic to the bowl.
- Mix well with your hands. Pile the topping onto the mushroom caps. Feel free to pack it down, but be gentle: mushrooms aren't exactly sturdy.
- Either grill on a preheated grill over medium-high heat or cook under your oven's broiler for about 5 - 10 minutes, until the mushrooms are tender.