I love mushrooms.
They're meaty, warm, and earthy. Shiitakes, oyster, button, chanterelle, crimini, porcini, morels, portobellas.... The possibilities are endless - each with their own feel and flavor yet they all still subscribe to meaty, warm and earthy.
I do understand however, that mushrooms aren't for everyone - they have a funny texture and when I made the following recipe for my brother he just wasn't having anything to do with it. Like a good dinner guest though, he choked it down and didn't complain too much. Love you brother!
John and I, on the other hand, eat these at least a couple times a month. I think they're wonderful and delicious and work as an excellent vegetarian main. I've adopted this recipe lovingly from Matthew Kenney's cookbook, Big City Cooking. Which, by the way, has proven to be an excellent resource for a plethora of recipes (Aside: Some of the ingredients he utilizes are not always readily available and often involve some serious hunting).
4 Large Portobello Mushrooms.
1 C Fresh Coarse (whole wheat) Bread Crumbs.
1 1/4 C Almonds, blanched, lightly toasted and roughly chopped.
2 Tbsp Fresh Rosemary, lightly chopped.
1 Tbsp Grated Lemon Zest.
2/3 C Flour.
3 Free-Range, Organic Eggs.
3 Tbsp + 1 Tsp Fresh Lemon Juice.
5 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil (or other oil like veggie or peanut).
1 Tbsp + 1 Tsp Aged Balsamic Vinegar.
6 C Loosely Packed Baby Spinach or Arugula.
2 Tbsp Flat Leaf Parsley, coarsley chopped.
Kosher Salt & Fresh Cracked Black Pepper.
What to Do:
First, wipe the mushrooms clean with a damp cloth, then cut off the stems as close to the base as possible.If you grip them as close to the mushroom head as you can they will ordinarily just snap right off with a twist of the wrist.
Very carefully slice off the slightly rounded top part of each mushrrom cap so that the mushrooms are as flat and even as possible - about an inch thick.
In a large, shallow bowl, combine bread crumbs, 1 C chopped almonds, rosemary, lemon zest, and season with salt and pepper.
In another bowl whisk your eggs with 3 Tbsp of the lemon juice.
In a third bowl, place your flour.
Once cooked, remove from heat and drain on paper towels.
Meanwhile, in an old jam jar or something of the like, shake up the balsamic vinegar, remaining lemon juice, and olive oil. Season well with salt and pepper. Once combined and mixed well, dress the greens very gently with just enough of the dressing to coat them lightly in a large bowl.
To plate: Toss some greens down, place a nice hot mushroom on top, and drizzle a little extra vinaigrette on top. Sprinkle with parsley and a few more almonds.