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Portobellos A Versatile Mushroom

Steve Petusevsky Sun-Sentinel, South Florida

Although not long ago you could find only domestic white mushrooms, today more interesting varieties are commonplace. And after working with many of them, portobellos are my favorites.

These immense, odd-looking mushrooms can have caps 6 to 8 inches in diameter. Look for portobellos with closed, light-colored gills underneath the cap. Mushrooms with open, black gills are showing their age. Portobellos should not be washed or soaked, as they will become soggy. Instead, wipe them clean with a damp paper towel.

These versatile mushrooms can be grilled, broiled or stuffed. I like to fill them with bread stuffing or a basmati or wild rice mixture. I’ve had exceptional results filling them with spinach and blue cheese.

When cooked, they have a meaty texture, so they are good in recipes calling for beef. Instead of using ground beef or sausage on your next pizza, try some sauteed or grilled portobellos. And a grilled portobello on a kaiser roll is a vegetarian’s hamburger heaven.

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