The Cooking Chronicles: Portobello Delights

Mo Na has been a welcome addition to the City Market this year, and three months in, I am still giddy over the fact that I can get my mushroom fix from the farmers’ market.

I’d been eyeing their Portobello mushroom caps for some time (they are the size of dessert plates!), and though I have purchased them for pizza and stir-fries, I hadn’t yet utilized them to their full potential.

Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

I came across a recipe for stuffed Portobello mushrooms that would make use of other fridge remnants. Namely, I substituted some ricotta filling I had leftover from our favourite stuffed pasta recipe, and in place of the spinach, used beet greens a coworker had given me from her garden.

Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

Stuffed Portobello mushrooms

The recipe still worked like a charm – the time in the oven had softened the Portobellos, and brought out their inherent moisture and mushroom-y goodness. The ricotta just melted with the mild beet greens, and served over some lettuce from Sundog Organics that had been tossed with balsamic vinaigrette, it made for a very satisfying meal.

Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

Served with salad

Portobello Mushroom Burgers

I have seen some restaurants advertising Portobello mushroom burgers on their menu, and was always a bit sceptical – could a mushroom really be as satisfying as beef?

I couldn’t find a recipe to my exact liking, but used this one as a guide for how long to roast the mushrooms (being without a grill has its downsides). I probably should have reduced the time anyway, given the caps were down to the end of their life span, but they still held up pretty well.

The rest of the burgers were composed of ciabatta buns from Save-On, tomatoes from Gull Valley, lettuce from Kimmi’s garden, and vegetable spread for me, and asparagus pesto for Mack.

The verdict? As you probably guessed, it’s like comparing apples with oranges, and given the choice, beef would win out any day. But like the stuffed Portobellos, we were surprised by the meaty consistency of the mushroom and the hearty flavour.

Portobello Burger

Portobello burger with French fries and kohlrabi salad

We served the burger with “easier” French fries (not as crispy as we would have liked, but then again, we should have compensated for the fact that our Greens, Eggs and Ham baby potatoes probably didn’t need to be cooked as long), and a kohlrabi salad, made with Kuhlmann’s carrots and kohlrabi from Riverbend Gardens. The crunchy, spiced salad was a nice textural accompaniment to the burger, and had I julienned the vegetables more finely, it probably would have worked as a slaw-like topping (this was also the first time mistakenly handled Thai chilies with my bare fingers…a fiery sensation burned into my memory that will forever remind me to be more careful next time). We were also surprised how the kohlrabi took to the fennel – I would imagine the same would hold true with whatever flavouring agent is used.

Kohlrabi Salad

Kohlrabi salad

I know I can get Portobellos year round from Sherwood Park-based Prairie Mushrooms too, so I will definitely be earmarking these two recipes for the future.

3 thoughts on “The Cooking Chronicles: Portobello Delights

  1. I’ve had my eye on that Farm Café kohlrabi salad for so long! It’s decided…I’m heading to the market tomorrow before work to pick up a couple of bulbs. I’m thinking of toting it along for lunch when I head to Jasper in a couple of days – do you think it would stand up well and stay crunchy?

    – Rachel

  2. Rachel – I think it would. We did find that on the third day, the kohlrabi went mouldy, so I would say consume it within a day or two.

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