Appetizer

Grilled Portobellos Caprese

I am a mushroom fan. I realize not everyone is but, if you are, you have undoubtedly had some version of grilled portobellos. At one point, they were the hot new restaurant item and gradually became pretty ubiquitous. Sometimes grilled portobellos are sublime and sometimes they are mushy and tasteless. It’s all in how you cook them, season them and, in most cases, what you stuff inside them. This is an easy recipe you can whip up and serve as an appetizer and then move onto more serious grilling. Or, if you are like me, it makes a nice, light weeknight meal.

Grilled Portobellos Caprese

from Grill This, Not That

Ingredients

  • 4 large portobello mushrooms, cleaned and stems removed
  • 1 tbsp olive oil (I used garlic olive oil)
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 8 oz ball fresh mozzarella, chopped
  • 2 tbsp prepared pesto

Caprese ingredients

Directions

Preheat grill over medium-low heat. (I wasn’t cooking anything else, so I just used my gas grill to keep things fast.) Use a spoon to scrape away some of the gills on the underside of the mushrooms. Place the mushrooms in a shallow baking dish and drizzle with oil and vinegar. Season with salt & pepper.

Combine tomatoes, mozzarella, and pesto in a mixing bowl.

Caprese ingredients

It was all I could do not to just eat the filling straight out of the bowl — resist, my friends. The end result it worth it.

Grill the portobellos, gill side down, for 2 minutes.

Grilled Portobellos Caprese

Flip each and fill the cap with the caprese mixture. (I did this off the grill in my original baking dish to make things easier and then moved them back to the grill.)

Grilled Portobellos Caprese

Close the grill and leave them be for 8-10 minutes, until the mushrooms are soft and lightly charred and the mozzarella has melted.

Grilled Portobellos Caprese

Those look gooey good, don’t they? While they are probably best with summer tomatoes, I could see mixing in some quality sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil and getting good results, also. I may go have a leftover portobello now…

Categories: Appetizer, Recipes, Sides, Vegetables, Vegetarian | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

Crostini (aka Grilled Baguette) with White Bean Dip

With family coming over this weekend, I had in mind that I would grill the whole meal on my Green Egg. I figured I should start with something easy yet fairly substantial so folks wouldn’t mind waiting for the rest of the dinner to be ready. During some intense cookbook-reading sessions recently, I ran across a few recipes for grilled bread with various toppings. Most common was bruschetta — one of my favorites — but my problem was that two of my guests were not big tomato fans. (I know — should be illegal, I agree.) So I decided to go with one of my favorite, easy toppings — white bean dip. Here are the oh-so-simple directions…

For your bean dip, start with a can of cannelini or other white beans. Drain and rinse them and throw them in a food processor. Now comes the creative part. You can add olives, sun-dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, a squeeze of lemon, garlic, sauteed onions, smoke paprika, roasted red peppers, or some combo of the above. I still have some burger starter lurking in my fridge, so I added that.

Crostini with White Bean Dip

Whirl it all up until smooth and creamy and then taste it. If it seems like it needs something else, tinker around until you like it. Then scoop it into a storage container and throw it in the fridge to sit a bit.

Slice your crusty baguette on the bias into pieces.Brush or spray the slices with a bit of olive oil. Make sure your grill is around 350 or 400 degrees F. Carefully put the slices down.

Crostini with White Bean Dip

Don’t close the lid or walk away or start a long story — that bread will be ready in about two minutes. And, if you don’t babysit it, you will get too much char. (You might see a few extra-crispy examples below — I speak from experience.)¬†Throw your lovely, hot crostini in a bread basket and serve with the white bean dip.

Crostini with White Bean Dip

Be sure to snag one before you go back to the grill ’cause they might all be gone when you get back.

Categories: Appetizer, Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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