We are fabulously addicted to our grill. In fact, two of our favorite flavors are grilled and smoked (any food with that flavor profile is pretty much unbeatable). Since most grilled recipes are heavy on the meat, each summer we play with ways to make veggie-centric grilled meals, since we eat 90% vegetarian.
(What do you think of the new term, 90% vegetarian? I’m trying it out to describe our way of eating vegetarian-most-of-the-time, and people seem to understand it — at least a bit more than flexitarian!)
So here we present: Part 1 of A Summer Grilled Meal. Alex’s sister had us over for dinner a few weeks ago (hi, Audra!), as we cannot pass up an opportunity to see our adorably cute nephews or have some her delicious eats. She’s got a knack for knowing how to accommodate 90% vegetarian types effortlessly. Among other things, she whipped up these grilled portabellos with caprese topping, and they were a huge hit among vegetarians and meat-eaters alike.
We like this dish because it’s fairly easy to put together, delicious, and a great entree for a meatless grilled meal (which can sometimes be difficult to find). Portabello mushrooms themselves are not incredibly filling (so be mindful if you’re serving vegetarian guests – this is not equivalent to a burger!), but adding the cheese topping provides some protein and makes them a bit more satisfying. Even so, I’d probably plan for two per person, depending on the amount of other food in your meal. Plus, they’re good enough that seconds will be in order!
How about you? We’d love to hear your thoughts and suggestions on meatless grilled meals!
- 8 portabello mushroom caps
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 8 ounces fresh mozzarella (in small balls, if possible)
- 1 large tomato
- 10 leaves basil
- Kosher salt
- Fresh ground pepper
- Preheat a grill to medium high (or preheat an oven to 425°F).
- Remove the stems from the portabellos. Mince two garlic cloves. In a small bowl, mix the garlic with ¼ cup balsamic vinegar and ¼ cup olive oil. Place the mushrooms on a baking sheet. Using a brush. the front and back of each mushroom with the marinade. Sprinkle with kosher salt and pepper, and let sit for 15 to 30 minutes.
- Chop the mozzarella into 1/4 inch chunks. Finely dice the tomatoes; place them in a colander to drain and sprinkle with kosher salt. Thinly slice (chiffonade) the basil.
- When the grill is ready and the mushrooms have marinaded, place the mushrooms on grill (or in a grill pan) and cook about 5 minutes per side, until juicy. (Alternative method: Roast the mushrooms in a baking dish in the oven for about 15 minutes at 425°F, turning once.)
- Remove the mushrooms from the grill. Top with chopped tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, and a drizzle of olive oil.
Adapted from I Can Cook That
About the Authors
Cookbook Author and writer
Sonja Overhiser is an acclaimed vegetarian cookbook author and cook based in Indianapolis. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Cookbook Author and photographer
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the “best vegetarian cookbooks” by Epicurious.