Recipe: Grilled Mushrooms,
 Lebanese Style

by Brian Ricci

Mushrooms are like sponges—they absorb moisture very well. When grilled, they release their moisture, leaving behind their inherent earthy flavors, enhanced by the heat of the grill. Also left are the flavors we impart in our marinades. They tend to become stronger and more concentrated as the water content of the mushroom is expelled. Balancing these distilled flavors is a mild dressing using soy yogurt as the base to “cool” the flavors down.

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 6 medium or 3 large portobello mushrooms
  • 10 large garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
  • 2/3 teaspoon allspice, ground
  • Pinch of cayenne
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the Garlic Dressing:

  • 8 large garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 1 lemon, juiced and zested
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Soy yogurt to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • On hand: flat parsley, chopped

Directions:

  1. Clean the mushrooms with a damp paper towel working off any dirt. Remove the stems and leave the caps as whole as possible—they will be easier to manipulate on the grill this way. 
  2. Mix your garlic along with the rest of the ingredients until well combined. Pour over mushrooms in a large wide pan. Allow them to marinate for at least an hour, turning often to distribute the mix evenly. 
  3. Over a hot grill, gently place the mushrooms with the cap side up. Let them roast over the grill until they begin to develop discernable marks—about 4 to 5 minutes. Turn them 30 degrees and continue cooking for 2 more minutes.
  4. Turn over and repeat this process. Use your senses to judge doneness; they will have shrunk by 1/3 and will be tender to the touch. 
  5. Remove from the heat and let them rest before you portion them. Cut into attractive slices and drizzle the garlic sauce over top, garnish with chopped parsley.

For the Garlic Dressing:

  1. Add garlic and lemon juice inside a food processor. Turn processor on and slowly blend in olive oil to develop a creamy consistency. 
  2. Remove from processor to a bowl, season and gently whisk in soy yogurt. 
  3. Finish with parsley and chill until serving.