Porta Bella are those over grown brown/Crimini mushrooms
that develop a richer flavor as they size up. Very popular
with the non-carnivore crowd, these are very meaty and
filling and can be subbed for any mushroom use.
Snap off the stem which can be used, minus the
dirt end, for later use. Brush any dirt off of the cap
with a clean cloth. I do not put water to these as the
mushroom with absorb it, as opposed to the baste that is
Mix many glugs of olive oil in a bowl with lots
of crushed garlic.
Tie fresh rosemary together with a rubber band or twist
tie to form a paint brush. Rosemary grows as a border plant
almost everywhere. Unless you are in the middle of the
bay, you'll stumble across a rosemary bush within
a block of where you are right now. Bang the "brush" with
the back of a knife, or a mallet to nick the needles of
the rosemary. This will allow the herb's oils to blend
with Olive's oil. Submerge this brush in the oil/garlic
mixture and set aside.
This baste should be made the night before so all the flavor
meld together. (Some folks add balsamic vinegar to this.
I don't because it gives the 'shroom an acidic flavor.)
Using the rosemary brush, baste the mushroom cap
and fins, and place fins up on a medium hot barby. (I also
forego marinating the mushroom because it soaks up too
much oil. Basting has been just fine for me.)
After three or so minutes turn it over and baste again.
Leave it fins down for another 3-4 minutes and turn over
to finish cooking fins up.
DO NOT let the cap burn and DO keep basting. Finishing
off the cooking with the fins up, ensures that all the
goody juices will stay in the mushroom and not feed the
Most times I will pull the mushroom off to the side and
finish cooking for 5 or so minutes. Total cooking time
is about 10 or so minutes. You can tell when it is done
when it softens and juices up.
You can also broil these, but keep an eye on 'em.
Put the whole cap in a bun for a Porta Bella burger,
or slice and serve as an appetizer.
Garnish with chopped Italian parsley and crumbled Feta