Goat Cheese Portabella with Balsamic

Goat Cheese Portabella with Balsamic

 
 

Portabella mushrooms are quite versatile; they can be a meat substitute, an earthy flavor addition or a giant edible plate, as it is here.  This portabella variation can be the main dish, appetizer or side to your meal, whichever you choose, it’s satisfying and tasty.  I know I always stress the importance of amazingly flavorful balsamic vinegar, but it’s really true.  My two favorites are 11 Olives (made by a gentleman in West Seattle; available at A&J Meats on Queen Anne) and Ballard Market’s own Town & Country label balsamic vinegar (available in the deli).  Both pack a sweet flavor profile with a rich finish.  Your taste buds will thank you, I promise.

Plan to serve one portabella mushroom cap per person.  Carefully take the stem off by hand and reserve for later; you can sauté it for use in eggs, pasta, sauces and soups.

Serves 4

4 portabella mushroom caps
4 tablespoons goat cheese
4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
4 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon of kosher or sea salt
2 teaspoons of pepper
4 sprigs of parsley or 4 basil leaves (optional)

Set oven to 450*F or fire up the BBQ.  Wipe the smooth exterior of each portabella cap with a damp cloth, removing dirt, and lie on a cookie sheet, smooth side down.  On each cap, sprinkle 1 teaspoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper.  Set either directly on BBQ grill or in the top 1/3 of oven for 6-8 minutes, or until the little mushroom gills have moisture and it the flesh has changed to a meaty consistency.

Remove from the oven/BBQ; place one tablespoon goat cheese on each cap, grate a few cracks of pepper and garnish with herbs.  I usually like to give one last sprinkle of vinegar just because I love it so much. 

Keywords: Vegetarian, appetizers, light meal,