Today we are continuing with the leave-the-oven-off theme at the Tasty Eats At Home household. While I did have the oven on for a while this past weekend (in order to bake some rhubarb-walnut muffins – and yes, I’ll share the recipe with you soon!), it was quickly becoming clear that the air conditioning wouldn’t be able to keep up with the increased heat. So when dinnertime came around, I opted to use the grill. Sure, I’d break a sweat outside while cooking, but I could come back inside to a cool house. That makes it totally worth it. Besides, grilling means less cleanup afterwards. It’s a win-win.
Contrary to popular belief, grilling doesn’t always have to involve a big hunk of meat. I often love to grill vegetables (squash and eggplant are delicious on the grill!) and even fruit. Portobello mushrooms, however, really shine when grilled. They take on that smoky, deep, flavor and a deliciously chewy, almost meaty texture. I could eat my weight in portobello mushrooms, I love them so much. Grilling them is my favorite way to prepare them.
I opted this time to do more than just simply season and grill them (which is wonderful, of course). This time, they needed a bit more flair, and they needed to be elevated to “main course” status. I started by cooking down a bit of chile, garlic, and tomatoes for a big punch of flavor. I tossed in some fresh spinach to wilt, and crumbled tofu. Tossing a bit of fresh tarragon leaves into the stuffing at the last minute would provide that lovely, light, fresh flavor that would compliment the earthiness of the mushrooms. All of this took mere minutes to prepare, and then the mushrooms were ready for the grill.
A definite bonus when grilling veggies instead of a burger or steak? No flare-ups. These mushrooms grilled away happily at a consistent temperature. I felt comfortable walking away for a few minutes, knowing they would be fine while I cleaned up in the kitchen.
The verdict? These are so delicious, I imagine they’d even convert meat-eaters. The tofu makes a delicious stand-in for a creamy cheese, but I really loved the combination of the spicy chile and the fresh tarragon. Normally, stuffed mushrooms are a heavy, decadent dish – this is a light, summery interpretation that’s entirely free of gluten and dairy. I’m thinking these will be a repeat dish at my house throughout the season.
Grilled Portobello Mushrooms with Tofu, Chiles, Spinach, Tomatoes, and Tarragon
1 Anaheim chile, seeded and diced (you can substitute other fresh chiles, just be mindful of the heat)
1 large clove garlic, minced
7-8 cherry tomatoes, quartered (or one large tomato, diced)
2 c fresh spinach leaves
1/2 of a 15.5 oz package extra-firm tofu (I like to use organic sprouted tofu)
1/2 – 1 T chopped fresh tarragon leaves
salt and pepper to taste
3-4 portobello mushrooms, stems removed and chopped
Add diced chiles, chopped mushroom stems, garlic, and tomatoes to a skillet along with 2-3 tablespoons of water. Bring to medium heat and “saute”, stirring occasionally, until tender. (add additional water if it becomes too dry) Add the spinach, stir, and cover for 30 seconds to a minute to allow the spinach leaves to wilt. Crumble the tofu and add to the skillet, and then sprinkle the tarragon over. Stir and warm through, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Spoon filling into portobello mushrooms.
(If you are having guests, these mushrooms could be prepared up to this point and refrigerated until ready to grill.)
Heat grill to medium heat. Grill mushrooms for about 15 minutes or until the mushrooms are tender. Remove and serve. (Don’t have a grill? You can bake them at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes and achieve similar results. I haven’t tried it with this recipe in particular, but I imagine it would work well.)