For everyone who's met me in person, you know I'm not a very fancy person. I am quite comfortable in yoga pants [in fact, part of me wonders sometimes if I do this work - a little bit - because it means I can get away with wearing Lulus all the livelong day... #mostlykidding]. I don't wear a ton of makeup or a ton of jewelry. I don't drive a fancy car or tote fancy bags. I'm totally okay with this. It's partly my West Coast showing, I think. ;)
Where I DO appreciate a little fancy, though, is in the food department... especially when the fanciness is actually super easy and low-stress, but looks like it took hours to make or was super complicated.
These hazelnut crusted portobello mushrooms are exactly what I mean. They are decadent and indulgent and oh-so-interesting... and they take almost no time at all to make. Please, dig in: I encourage you to whip out this recipe next time you have guests to impress or a party to attend where you need to take a little something-something. While they make an excellent entree [no meat here, thanks!], they would also be perfect as a little hors d'oeuvres.
These were inspired by a book I picked up recently on our trip to Toronto. One of my favorite Chapters locations downtown was closing, and the whole store was a minefield of glorious literature and beautiful photography for 800% off. The food + cooking section, in particular, was really dangerous: SO many great books to choose from (and way too small of a suitcase to get them all back to New York). The book that inspired this recipe - Vegan Secret Supper - is awesome. Definitely worth a gander if you're into small plates + fancy vegan food. [Incidentally, if you are, come join me at Suite 3Oh6 in Tribeca for cooking classes! Our menu is delicious; plus, the whole supperclub atmosphere is really fun and unique for classes. Details here.]
I love Portobellos as a meat alternative because of their dense, chewy texture: it's not dissimilar to eating a steak, but you get the added benefits of i) not eating as much meat, ii) a huge dose of Vitamins B2 and B3, copper, and selenium, and iii) the extra cancer-fighting action of fungus! (These guys are great for immune-boosting and supporting the body's natural defenses.)
They take a little time to marinate before cooking, but if you have your ingredients prepared in the morning, these can go into the marinade when you walk in the door and by the time you're changed, have checked your email and walked the dog, they're ready to go in the oven. Isn't it crazy how we can fill 30 minutes without trying? :) No time when you get home? No worries. You can marinate these all day - although I can't vouch for the mushiness factor - or you can plan to do these on a weekend night. They keep well in the fridge and make excellent salad topping the next day. ;)
We served ours alongside steamed kale and roasted sweet potatoes. The protein in the nuts + miso, plus the fat in the oil, helps round this veggie-centric meal out. Dense and filling without being too too much. Perfect, no?
I'd love to know how these turn out for you! Share your photos over on the FTGU Facebook page, or send me a little tweet with a photo of your goodies. Have fun! Happy vegan dinner partying! ;)
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 tbsp cooking sherry
- 1 tsp tamari
- 1 tsp brown rice miso paste
- 1/2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp grainy dijon mustard
- 3/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 tsp nutritional yeast
- 1/2 tbsp almond flour
- 2 portobello mushrooms, stalks removed and sliced into 1/2" slabs
- 3 garlic cloves
- 2/3 cup crushed hazelnuts
- 1. Whisk together vinegar, sherry, tamari, miso paste, oil, dijon, pepper, yeast and almond flour. Pour into a large reusable container with a lid and place Portobellos in. Give it a few gentle shakes to coat. Leave to marinate for 30 minutes to 2 hours.
- 2. Preheat oven to 375F.
- 3. Place crushed hazelnuts in a shallow dish. Remove mushrooms from marinade and dip them one at a time into the hazelnuts. Coat well.
- 4. Transfer mushrooms to a large baking sheet and bake for 12 minutes. Turn over and bake another 12 minutes until nuts are toasted and mushrooms are cooked.