Grilling without fat is my new puzzle to solve for the summer. I’ve got a winner this week with my no-fat vegan stuffed Portabello. The ingredients I’ve used are succulent, but the real trick with this one is to grill it over some natural mesquite wood charcoal. There are a lot of whole hardwood lump charcoal brands available. I used Best of the West Natural Mesquite Briquettes, which I got at Fred Meyer. A small 8 Cup tower of them burned to “ready” in 20 minutes and lasted perfectly for my batch of 4 mushrooms.
This mushroom can certainly be done in the oven, but it is a whole different animal after spending 20 minutes intimately mingling with hardwood smoke on my Weber tabletop grill. This recipe is an adaptation of one from the Weber’s Real Grilling cookbook.
Grilled Stuffed Portabello with Spinach, Garlic and Sun-dried Tomatoes
6-8 C Chopped fresh spinach
1/2 large sweet onion, chopped
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 C halved fresh cherry tomatoes
1/2 C water-packed or re-hydrated sun-dried tomatoes, drained
1 Tbsp. capers, drained and coarsely chopped
salt and pepper to taste
3 or 4 medium portabello mushrooms
2 C fresh bread crumbs (Dave’s Goodseed or your favorite no-oil vegan bread)
1 clove peeled garlic
4 Tbsp. chopped fresh Italian parsley or cilantro
1. Prepare the grill. Make a stack of charcoal, enough for a single layer under your mushrooms, and light. After 20 minutes, the coals should be ready to spread out in a single layer under the grate.
2. Gently rinse the portabellos and remove the stems. With a spoon, scrape out the black gills and discard. Marinate the caps for 15 minutes with a few splashes of seasoned rice vinegar or balsamic vinegar.
3. Make the filling in a saucepan. Put the first 7 ingredients together and heat over medium heat, covered with a lid, until the onion is soft, stirring occasionally and adding a small amount of water when necessary to keep from sticking or burning.
4. Prepare the breadcrumbs in the food processor. I use 2 slices of bread and 2 peeled clove of garlic. Process and toast at 350 degrees on a cookie sheet for 10 minutes. Chop your fresh herbs and set aside with the breadcrumbs.
5. Grill your mushroom caps for 10 minutes on each side. Remove from the grill and stuff each cap with your filling. Return to the grill (which should now be on a low heat- maybe 300 to 325 degrees) for 15 to 20 minutes, closing the lid and allowing the wood smoke to mingle with the mushrooms.
6. Remove the cooked portabellos from the grill. Cover each cap well with toasted breadcrumbs and sprinkle with chopped herbs.