Portobello Mushrooms with Breadcrumb Salsa

Kaki!  This is another fabulous Peter Berley success.

You might remember him from the Dill Tofu or Lemon-Wine Tofu I’ve mentioned before, both of which are stand-by recipes in my kitchen.  His book The Flexitarian Table is great; it’s arranged by season, arranged further into complete menus, each menu has a vegetarian and a meat option, AND each menu is broken down into a clear order of preparation.

The only drawback is that Berley falls into the same habit as many restaurant chefs with their cookbooks: there are many different components to be prepared separately, exponentially increasing the amount of time and dishes involved.  It doesn’t seem like the constraints of a home cook are always kept in mind.

However, if you can accept that, the dishes are really delicious.  Variety of flavor and texture, healthy without screaming “health food”, influence from many world cultures… it’s a winner!

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Portobello Mushrooms with Breadcrumb Salsa
Adapted from The Flexitarian Table by Peter Berley
Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 6 large portobello mushroom caps, wiped clean with a damp towel
  • about 6 tablespoons olive oil; enough to coat mushrooms
  • salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups breadcrumbs (I used panko, but fresh would also work)
  • about 2-3 tablespoons olive oil; enough to lightly coat breadcrumbs
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped Vidalia onion (or other sweet onion, or red onion)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
  • about 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup chopped herbs (I used parsley only, but any herb or mixture of herbs would work)

Preheat the oven to 400*F.  Line two baking sheets with aluminum foil.

Place the mushroom caps on one of the foil-lined baking sheets and drizzle both sides of each cap with olive oil.  Season both sides with salt and pepper.  Set aside.

Pour the breadcrumbs out onto the other foil-lined baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil.  Stir the breadcrumbs around to distribute the oil as evenly as possible.

Place both the mushrooms and breadcrumbs into the oven to roast/toast.  The mushrooms will need around 15 minutes until cooked through.  The breadcrumbs will need around 12 minutes until golden, stirring once at the 6-minute mark.

While mushrooms and breadcrumbs are going in the oven, combine the onion, garlic, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in small bowl.  Add enough red wine vinegar to just cover the onions.  Set aside.

To assemble the dish: Slice each roasted mushroom into 4-5 strips and plate atop Summer Bean Ratatouille (will be its own post soon!).  Drain the vinegar from the onion mixture.  In a medium bowl, just before serving, combine the onion mixture with the chopped herbs, toasted breadcrumbs, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt.  Sprinkle the breadcrumb salsa over the mushrooms.

Serve with a lightly dressed arugula salad.

P.S. Even with this many separate, last minute components, I successfully took this to work and reheated it for lunch.  I combined the mushroom and ratatouille in one container, the arugula in one container, the dressing in one container, the breadcrumbs and salt in one container, and the onion mixture and parsley in one container.  It was a very balanced, flavorful, filling meal!  Here’s what it looked like all packed up:

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P.P.S. This is vegan, can you believe it!  I hadn’t even noticed until I was halfway through my meal, ticking off ingredients in my head.  Amazing.

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