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Grilled Peppered Portobello Steaks


Serves 4 to 6

Sometimes you see portobellos in the market that are just monsters, and this is the place to use them--the bigger the cap, the better. All you do is rub them with a little oil, pepper them up as much as possible, then grill them over a medium fire and serve them with a simple oil-vinegar-Parmesan combination that perfectly suits the meaty mushroom steaks.

Copyright 2002 by Chris Schlesinger and John Willoughby.

Reprinted from Let the Flames Begin with permission of W.W. Norton.

This Recipe was taken from: "Let the Flames Begin:"


  • 2 pounds portobello mushrooms, as large as you can find them, stemmed
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup freshly cracked black pepper,
  • Kosher salt to taste,

For the dressing:

  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Build a multi-level fire in your grill: Leaving one-quarter of the bottom
    free of coals, bank the coals in the remaining three-quarters of the grill so
    that they are three times as high on one side as on the other. When the coals
    are all ignited and the temperature has died down to medium (you can hold your
    hand about 5 inches above the grill grid, over the area where the coals are
    deepest, for 4 to 5 seconds) you're ready to cook.
  2. Rub the mushrooms with the olive oil and then with the black pepper, then sprinkle generously with salt.
    Put them on the grill and cook until they are tender and slightly seared, 6 to 8
    minutes per side. (To check for doneness, nick, peek, and cheat: Cut into one of
    the mushrooms and peek to be sure it looks moist all the way through, rather
    than dry at the center.)
  3. While the mushrooms are cooking, whisk the dressing ingredients together in a medium bowl
  4. When the mushrooms are done, take them off the grill, cut them into thick slices, add to the bowl with the dressing,
    toss gently to coat, and serve warm.

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