Week Night Yum Yum: Grilled Portobella Mushroom with Goat Cheese and Pine Nuts and Mesclun Salad

Monday, June 8, 2009

I love portobella mushrooms. And I love them the best with a fresh, creamy goat cheese. Here's my low-carb, vegetarian-friendly recipe for an awesome portobella mushroom and salad that you don't have to feel guilty about eating. And the contrast of the cold but crusty goat cheese with the warm grilled mushroom is wonderful.

Grilled Portobella Mushroom with Goat Cheese and Pine Nuts

4 portobella mushroom "steaks" cleaned and de-stemmed
olive oil
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
fresh goat cheese, cold
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted*
mesclun salad
balsamic-honey vinaigrette (recipe follows)
2 tbspn dried cranberries
Preheat your broiler to high (you can also grill your mushrooms on the gas or charcoal grill).
Brush the mushrooms with olive oil on both sides and sprinkle with salt and black pepper. Place on a baking sheet pan and broil on hgh heat until tender, about 4 minutes on each side. Be careful not to burn the mushrooms, so adjust distance and broil heat as necessary!
While the mushrooms are broiling, prepare the salad. Toss the mesclun greens and cranberries in a large bowl with the vinaigrette. Set aside.
Once the mushrooms are broiled, take out and top with one large dollap of goat cheese in the middle of the mushroom (gill side up), piling it rather high (forming like a mountain peak). Return to broiler and broil until the top of the cheese just begins to brown and get crusty. This is why you want to make a mountain peak with the cheese - otherwise, you'll burn the already-cooked mushroom! Remove immediately and set aside.
To plate:
On a large plate, place a mound of the tossed salad and top with a mushroom. Sprinkle the toasted pine nuts on top of the mushroom and along the sides of the salad. Add extra dollaps of goat cheese on the side of the salad if desired.
*To toast pine nuts, place nuts in a shallow pan and toast on low-med heat until browned and fragrant. They burn very easily, so make sure to turn them with a spatula often and remove them promptly from the pan as they will burn if left even if the heat is turned off underneath!
Balsamic-Honey Vinaigrette
1/2 cup good extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup good quality balsamic vinegar from Modena
2 tbsp honey
pinch of salt
pinch of black pepper
Place all ingredients in a bowl and whisk together until emulsified. Conversely, place all ingredients in a glass jar fitted with tight lid. Shake until blended together. Using a glass jar makes for easy storage of unused vinaigrette!

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