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Grilled Portobello Mushrooms

Before World War II the common commercial mushrooms were all brown. After the war a Pennsylvania mushroom grower found a white one. White ones soon displaced the brown ones. Later a marketer started selling the brown ones again giving them the name Cremini to make them sound more exotic. A percentage of them grew large and ugly and were discarded. Another enterprising marketer began selling the large ones as Portobellos. All three mushrooms are the same species, but the large Portobellos are more mature and have a richer flavor.

4 Portobello mushrooms, stems removed

Olive oil for brushing

Salt and black pepper

Parmesan or pecorino Romano cheese, optional

Prepare the marinade (recipe follows). Brush the gill side of the mushrooms with marinade and let stand at room temperature for 30 to 60 minutes.

Prepare the grill for direct cooking over a medium hot fire. Drain excess marinade from the mushrooms and brush both sides with oil. Grill the mushrooms gill side up for 4 minutes, turn and grill for 3 additional minutes. Add cheese to the gill side if desired.


1/2 cup dry red wine

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 garlic clove, pressed of minced

1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

Combine all ingredients in a 6-inch skillet over high heat, and stir. Remove from the heat at the first sign of boiling.

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