As a vegetarian, I struggle with the summer barbecue season. In fact, I have dedicated the last two summers to finding and creating interesting barbecue options for me. This is definitely one of those. I liked it so much, I made it twice within a three-month timespan. Very few dishes move me to make them twice in such a short period of time.
I will start by saying that though I love mushrooms, I have had issues with both the texture and intense flavour of portobello mushrooms. Perhaps it’s their meatiness. This is one of the few recipes that I make in which I thoroughly enjoy them wholeheartedly, without conditions. The balsamic marinade is simple, but seems to bring out their best. I’ll be honest. I do cheat a little bit. I use portobellini instead of the actual portobello mushrooms. They are thinner, less dense, and much milder in taste.
I love everything about this recipe, slightly adapted from Vegetarian Times Magazine, however, I did use my own salsa verde recipe. My farmers’ market sells tomatillos in 2 pound baskets, so of course, there will be extra salsa to freeze for a few more times. The recipe yields approximately 3 cups of salsa. Don’t feel that you have to make your own salsa. There are plenty of good ones out there; try to pick one without additives/preservatives.
Portobello mushrooms and tomatillos (salsa verde) are just beautiful together. The salsa not only works to mellow the deep portobello flavours, but gives their heavy earthiness a lift and a zing, as if to complete the job the balsamic vinegar started, but could not finish. The medley of raw cabbage, cherry tomatoes, and avocado complete the dish adding crunch, sweetness, and creaminess. Underneath it all is the tanginess of the sour cream (vegans feel free to use vegan sour cream). The mushrooms and salsa are good on their own, but these additions make the dish sing. It’s a dish that contains more raw vegetables than cooked and just makes me feel good when I eat it. As a vegetarian, I don’t feel cheated at the barbecue with this dish. It is absolutely delicious!
This is a quick and easy weeknight meal (if you are using pre-made salsa verde).
Serves 3 (2 tacos per person)
|Olive oil||1/3 cup|
|Vinegar, balsamic||3 tbsp|
|Mushrooms, portobello, large||6|
|Cabbage, Savoy, shredded||3 cups|
|Tomatoes, cherry||2 cups|
|Tomatillos, grilled||2 lbs|
|Onions, green, grilled||3|
|Cilantro, sprigs & roots, fresh||3|
|Lime juice||1 tbsp|
|Jalapeno, grilled, seeded||1|
|Olive oil||3 tbsp|
- To make marinade, combine the olive oil and balsamic vinegar in small bowl.
- Brush mushroom caps with marinade. Season each mushroom cap with salt and black pepper. Place mushrooms in a small bowl and pour remaining marinade over mushrooms. Marinate while grill is preheating.
- Preheat grill or grill pan to high heat.
- Grill mushrooms 3 to 5 minutes per side. Cool until easy to handle, then slice into strips.3.
- To make the salsa verde, toss tomatillos, green onions, and jalapeño in olive oil.
- Grill the vegetables (tomatillos, green onions, and jalapeño) over medium heat. The green onions will only require a couple of minutes on each side. The tomatillos will soften in about 10 minutes. When the jalapeño is done (charred and softened), place it in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap for 10 minutes. Peel and remove seeds.
- Place tomatillos, lime juice, green onions, cilantro, jalapeño, garlic and olive oil in a food processor and pulse until all ingredients are finely chopped and mixed. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
- Lightly warm tortillas 15 seconds per side in skillet or on griddle.
- To fill the tortillas, begin by spreading some sour cream (if using) over half the tortilla. Then add the shredded cabbage, sliced mushrooms, avocado slices, and tomatoes. Top each taco with salsa verde.