You’ve planned everything perfectly for your Memorial Day barbecue, but an entree for the vegetarians has you stumped? No worries: Portobello caps make a wallet-friendly and easy pick when you want to sidestep the burger meat. The mushrooms are meaty (but meatless) and satisfying, making them a go-to swap for even the biggest meat eaters. And since the portobellos are mild in taste, they’re incredibly versatile, so you can serve them with the same sides and buns as the rest of the burgers on the grill.
The roasted turkey, the glazed ham, the standing rib roast, the rack of lamb — there are many ways to make meat the star of your holiday spread, while the veggies often get relegated to the side-dish selection. But that doesn’t have to be the case. Enter this mushroom-instead-of-beef Wellington.
While traditional beef Wellingtons may feature a tenderloin in the center, Food Network Magazine’s Mushroom Wellington with Creamy Carrot Sauce swaps that out and replaces it with a combination of hearty, earthy portobellos and shiitakes. Scented with fresh thyme and a splash of white wine, this filling is full of flavor as well as meaty and substantial. Just like the classic version, this one too features a golden-brown, flaky puff pastry shell to hold the filling, which gives it the striking, holiday-worthy appearance you crave.
While stuffed mushrooms are surely a fan favorite on the appetizer table, there’s no reason these earthy bites can’t transition into a main dish, especially when you swap out the creminis or baby bellas and opt for full-size portobello mushrooms. The beauty of serving mushrooms in a vegetarian dish is that they’re naturally meaty and filling, so you don’t have to worry about feeling hungry right after dinner. Plus, portobellos can stand up to hearty cooking techniques, like high-heat roasting and grilling, which is why they often shine as burger patties.
In Food Network Magazine’s good-for-you recipe for Cheese-and-Chile-Stuffed Mushrooms (pictured above), these tender, satisfying rounds are layered with a mix of textures and flavors, like gooey mozzarella and a bold mixture of garlicky poblano peppers, green onions and fresh parsley. The secret to ensuring this go-to dinner is especially satisfying is adding a bit of protein-packed wheat germ to the sauteed poblanos, promising a welcome subtle crunch to the overall plate. After they finish baking, top each tender stuffed mushroom with cool sour cream for tang and bright red jalapeno peppers.
Porcinis, creminis and portobellos, oh my! With some 5000 species of mushrooms — not all edible — growing in the United States alone, it is no wonder these meaty and robust veggies have become such a staple of our diets. The recipes below suggest new and inventive ways to cook with mushrooms, while celebrating their classic earthy flavors and textures. Don’t forget that to avoid mushy mushrooms, it’s best to just wipe them with a damp towel to clean; soaking them in water will cause these porous varieties to absorb moisture and become soft when cooked.
Go meatless tonight and enjoy Food Network’s Grilled Portobello Burger With Onion Jam (pictured above). This classic vegetarian alternative to traditional beef burgers features grilled portobello mushrooms topped with a sweet and tangy red onion jam, fresh lettuce and a spoonful of spicy horseradish-yogurt sauce.