Monday, August 20, 2012

Roasted Portabellos with Dill-Parsley Pesto

When my dad brought home a pack of huge portabello mushrooms, I knew I wanted to do something that would leave them whole in their enormous, meaty, umami-filled glory. I obviously really love mushrooms. For the sauce, I came up with a fresh, light, citrusy pesto that was a great pairing with the deep flavor of the mushrooms.

This dish would be a great side or vegetarian main dish served over a grain like rice or quinoa. You'll probably have leftover sauce, which I would serve over fish, chicken, on toasted bread, with cheese, or on pasta--so versatile!

Roasted Portabello Mushrooms with Dill-Parsley Pesto

4 large portabello mushroom caps (just over a pound)
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 sprigs thyme, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

4 packed cups kale leaves
1/2 cup fresh dill
1/2 cup fresh parsley
2 tablespoons olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup toasted walnuts
salt and pepper to taste
more lemon juice, olive oil, or water, as needed

1. Heat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with a silicon baking mat or aluminum foil.
2. Use a spoon to remove the gills on the mushroom caps, since they become slimy when cooked.
3. Mix the balsamic, olive oil, thyme, salt, and pepper in a small bowl, then brush onto the mushroom caps. Roast the mushrooms for about 30 minutes, until they are deep brown and have cooked down slightly.
4. Meanwhile, make the pesto: Heat a small pot of water until boiling, add the kale leaves, and cook for just about 30 seconds, until the kale is bright green and tender. Squeeze the kale out and add it to a food processor with the rest of the pesto ingredients. Blend until the mixture comes together, then add more liquid as needed until the sauce reached the texture you want (mine was pretty thick).
5. Serve the roasted mushrooms topped with some pesto sauce and drizzle any pan juices from the mushrooms on top.

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