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A tasty, quick meal that’s quite appropriate for Meatless Mondays, stuffed portabellos can be easily modified to use whatever ingredients you have on hand. I bought the beautiful, giant mushrooms with the intention of filling them with peppers and onions and grilling them as burgers. By the time I was checking out at the grocery store, they were to be stuffed with spinach and served with orzo, and when I started to prep dinner, I thought I could make use of the lovely turnip greens I got at the farmers’ market instead. What I am trying to say is that portabellos go well with so many different combinations of flavors and are a wonderful canvas for creativity.

I love to try all the edible greens available from the market and have gotten into the habit of asking each vendor whether the leaves and stems are edible, raw or cooked or both, when I buy bunches of root vegetables. I love beet greens almost as much as the beets themselves and tried radish greens for the first time a few weeks ago. I was thrilled to find that the greens and stems from the baby turnips we bought this weekend could be eaten in a salad or cooked like spinach/chard. Perhaps it was the seller’s comparison to spinach that turned on a lightbulb as I was getting dinner ready; cooked, the turnip greens were very tender and ever so slightly peppery and worked exactly the way spinach would have as a filling. If you don’t have access to turnip greens, by all means substitute spinach, chard or another braising green. Or, perhaps this will be a good introduction to a new spring treat.

Grilled Portabellos with Greens & Feta

  • four 4-5″ portabello mushrooms, stems removed
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bunch turnip greens or equivalent (about 5 c.), cleaned & chopped, stems and leaves divided
  • 2 T. balsamic vinegar
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 oz. feta cheese, crumbled

In a skillet, heat the oil over medium heat and add the garlic and turnip green stems; saute for 1-2 mins., stirring constantly so the garlic does not burn. Add the leaves and increase the heat very slightly; cover and allow them to wilt for about 2 mins. Add the vinegar, salt & pepper and stir to distribute; cook for 2 mins., a few more if you think the greens are very raw, but remember that they will have more cook time on the grill. When the greens are to your liking, stir in the feta and remove from the heat.

Brush the cleaned portabello caps lightly with oil and grill, gill side down to begin, for 5-7 mins. The mushrooms will wrinkle slightly, but don’t wait for them to get too soft. Turn the mushrooms over and fill the wells with a generous spoonful of the greens mixture; cook for another 5-7 mins. to slightly melt the cheese and heat through. Serve immediately; drizzle with additional balsamic if you like. Allow one mushroom per person as a main entree, or cut them into halves or quarters and serve as a side dish.

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