Hot Spiced Portobello Grill with Fresh Arugula and Parmigiano Shavings

Hot Spiced Portobello Grill with Fresh Arugula and Parmigiano Shavings
Copyright © 2009 Lynne Rossetto Kasper

Serves 6
1/2 cup good tasting extra-virgin olive oil
1 large clove garlic, or more to taste
1/2 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon dry oregano
6 large Portobello mushroom caps
Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
1 tight-packed cup fresh baby arugula leaves
2 to 3 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, shaved with a vegetable peeler
Juice of 1/2 to 1 whole lemon

1. In a blender, puree together the olive oil, garlic, pepper and oregano. Brush both sides of the mushrooms with the oil blend. Set the rest of the oil aside to finish the dish.

2. Prepare the grill for medium-high heat (on a charcoal grill coals will be orange and starting to ash over and you can hold your hand about 5 inches above the grate for 4 to 5 seconds; on a gas grill set burners at medium-high and heat until temperature reaches 400ºF).

3. Grill the mushroom caps on both sides until tender all the way through and slightly crisp, about 5 to 7 minutes per side. Season with salt and pepper.

4. Immediately remove the mushrooms to a serving platter. Top the caps with the arugula, then the cheese shavings, sprinkle with the reserved oil, and finish with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Serve right away to get the impact of hot mushrooms and fresh greens.

LYNNE'S TIPS

The mushrooms can also be prepared on a stove top grill or large skillet over medium-high heat. If using a skillet, film the bottom with a little oil.

If by some gift of the gods fresh porcini (Boletus Edulis) mushrooms come into your life, do use them instead of Portobellos. They were the original mushrooms intended for this dish.

If arugula isn't available substitute another tart, peppery green such as escarole, mustard greens, curly endive or mizuna.

THOUGHTS FROM LYNNE

Most vegetables can be cooked on a grill, with the general rule of thumb being to grill them quickly and over direct medium to medium-high heat. Marinate or toss vegetables with seasonings and oil before cooking to boost flavor and prevent sticking to the grill grate.

Some larger vegetables like eggplant, zucchini and summer squash, large carrots, and sweet and white potatoes can be cut into uniform lengthwise slices about 1/16– to 1/8-inch thick to increase the surface area exposed to the grill. Cut onions and bell peppers into wedges and place directly on the grate or thread onto skewers.