Sometimes, right in the middle of life and completely out of nowhere, you have a thought that seems like it’s not really connected to anything else going on but really when you think about it further it kinda is. This is exactly what happened to me Sunday morning, and it all started with Mick jumping up and down asking, “why”, everytime his feet hit the ground! “Why do I have to take a shower?”, Mick kept asking. Looking at my kid, with dirt and mud (and probably even old food) all over his arms and legs all I could think was . . . . really?? “Because you haven’t had one in three days”, I said.
So Mick stomped off and got into the shower and the next thing I know he’s singing and whistling and all is right again with the world! I love that about Mick. Not that he gets mad at me when I ask him to take a shower, but that he’s so engaged in life that it doesn’t occur to him for 3 days that his body hasn’t seen a bar of soap! That’s when I thought about my favorite Emily Dickinson quote, “to live is so startling it leaves little time for anything else.”
What does this have to do with a portabella mushroom you might ask?! Absolutely nothing. See what I mean! But it’s Meatless Thursday Week #4 and it occured to me how I’ve been seeking and trying new recipes that might stretch my kitchen skills a bit (including today’s grilled portabella), and how much fun I’ve had doing it!
It’s been a good National Nutrition Month! I’ve discovered new cooking techniques I know I’ll use again (can’t wait for amazing summer veggie frittata’s) and flavors and food combinations that I’m excited to cook for my clients, family members and friends. Engaging with food is a little like engaging in life, I think. You gotta let go of the oh-my-gosh-I-have-no-idea-how-to-do-that thinking sometimes and just go for it. It’s ok if it doesn’t work, at least you pushed up your sleeves and had a little fun! There’s always another recipe, vegetable or bag of beans calling your name. If it’s awesome you get to enjoy something fresh and delicious and the shear joy of having tried something new!! I like it that way. I want to live like that . . . fully engaged . . . mindful . . . and a little dirty, just like Mick!
So here’s the grilled Portabella on a Pretzel Roll. PK’s not a fan of mushrooms, but Mick and I loved this sandwich!!
Getting Ready . . . .
Portabella On A Pretzel Roll
2 large Portabella Mushroom Caps
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 Garlic Cloves, chopped
2+ Tbsp Basil Pesto
2 Slices Provolone Cheese
Fresh Lettuce Greens
Salt & Pepper to taste
1. Gently rinse mushroom caps and set aside. Combine chopped garlic and olive oil and let this stand for about 10-15 minutes or so.
2. In the meantime, start your grill and set to a medium low heat and wash and “ready” fresh lettuce greens and tomato slices.
3. Lightly brush garlic-infused olive oil onto sliced pretzel rolls (for toasting) and then on the outside of the mushroom caps. Drizzle the remaining oil on the underside of the mushrooms. Let the mushrooms soak up the flavors for a few minutes.
4. Grill the Portabella’s for approximately 7-8 minutes, turning occasionally (adjust grill heat if necessary). The sides of the mushrooms will start to pull inward and they will darken as they cook. The mushrooms, though still a bit solid, will ‘gently give’ when you try to slice into one as they finish cooking.
5. Flip the mushroom caps so the underside is up (almost like a small bowl). Spread a generous tablespoon of the basil pesto over mushrooms and top with a slice of provolone cheese. Allow the cheese to melt over the pesto. At the same time you can quickly ‘toast’ the pretzel rolls.
6. Remove everything from the grill and build sandwiches toping the mushroom caps with tomato slices and leafy lettuce greens.
Surprise . . . . delicious portabellas on a pretzel roll . . . . Enjoy!!
Prep Notes: I was originally going to use a whole grain roll for this sandwich until I spotted the soft pretzel rolls and had a brief flashback to an amazing grilled chicken sandwich that I once had at a local restaurant. It was served on a pretzel roll and I couldn’t shake the thought, but I’m sure this sandwich would be great on whole grain! Also, I used a wonderful already made pesto from Trader Joe’s found in the refrigerator section along with red oak lettuce greens!
I’d love to hear of your food ventures this National Nutrition Month!