Monday, August 27, 2012

Portobellos with Arugula and Parmigiano

According to Mario Batali, this dish -- Portobellos with Arugula and Parmigiano -- was one of the first dishes that he put on the menu at his restaurant, Pó, in New York City.  The recipe can still be found on the menu.  

This dish was the first dish in a three-course dinner featuring recipes by Mario Batali.  The common theme was that all of the recipes feature the use of the grill.  This recipe comes from Mario Batali's book Italian Grill.

The recipe itself is very versatile.  For example, the recipe calls for the use of anchovy paste, which I did not have when I made this dish.  I still think that the recipe worked out well even without the paste.  The combination of the grilled mushroom, the balsamic vinegar and olive oil, and the lettuce makes for a light and tasty salad.  The addition of Parmigiano Reggiano completes the dish.  If you do not have any Parmigiano Reggiano, you can substitute Parmesan cheese, which will work just as well.

Recipe from Mario Batali's Molto Italiano, at p. 28
Serves 6

6 large portobello mushrooms, stems removed
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon of anchovy paste
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled
Generous 4 cups trimmed arugula, washed 
    and spun dry
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Coarse sea salt
Ground black pepper
Parmigiano Reggiano, shaved

1.  Grill the mushrooms.  Preheat the gas grill or prepare a fire in a charcoal grill.  Place the portobellos on the grill and cook, turning two or three times, until slightly softened, 5 to 8 minutes.  Transfer to a platter, arranging the mushrooms gill side up.

2.  Prepare the mixture.  In a small bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup of the oil oil, the anchovy paste, vinegar and thyme.  Spoon the mixture evenly over the portobellos and let stand for 30 minutes. 

3.  Prepare the arugula.  In a large bowl, toss the arugula with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and lemon juice.  Season with coarse see salt and pepper.

4.  Plate the dish.  Divide the arugula among six plates and top each with a mushroom.  Using a vegetable peeler, shave the Parmigiano Reggiano over the salads.  Serve immediately.


At our wine dinner, this dish was paired with the Sobon Estate Roussanne (2011).  The wine has floral aromas, with elements of butterscotch and pear. While the wine is normally paired with seafood and poultry dishes, it worked very well with the salad.  The richness of the wine worked well with the extra virgin olive oil in the dish, along with the mushroom and Parmesan cheese. 


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