I love meaty portobello mushrooms. Yet, to my experience, the basic portobello rendering is as in hamburgers, using the mushroom instead of hamburger meat. Yes, nestled between a bun, or two slices of bread, or even a muffin, it is a satisfying meal. But there’s got to be more to portobellos than just as a faux hamburger. And that gave me the idea of mixing the mushrooms’ with potatoes. The result: a good homey dish. Along with some good crusty bread to mop up the garlicky mushroom juices, it makes for a great vegetarian entrée; one that even meat lovers will love.
PORTOBELLOS AND POTATOES
1 pound portobello mushrooms (about 4-5 large ones)
6 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced crosswise, about 1/8-inch thick
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound small red potatoes (do not peel)
1 cup water
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
- Rinsed mushrooms under cold running water and pat dry with paper towels. Cut into 3/4-inch cubes.
- In an 8 or 9 inch skillet or flameproof casserole with cover, combine mushrooms, garlic and oil. Place over medium heat and when mushrooms begin to cook, stir-fry for about 2 minutes. Cover pan and let cook on low heat for 5 minutes, at which point the mushrooms should be quite dark.
- Meanwhile, scrub potatoes and cut into pieces roughly the same size as the mushrooms. Add potatoes to the pan along with the water, salt and pepper. Cover pan and cook at slow simmer over medium heat for about 30 minutes, until potatoes are very tender. Gently stir in the parsley and mint. Simmer, uncovered, 1 minute more, and serve.
Yield: Serves 2 or 3 as a main course, 4 as an appetizer, side dish or omelet filling.