June 08, 2020 | Updated March 15, 2021
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Grilled mushrooms can range from anything from a weeknight supper to a rare and special treat. It all depends on the mushroom.
As you can see, I used porcini for this recipe. That’s because I collect them in the Sierra Nevada here in California. They are, in my opinion, the best grilled mushoom, although the matsutake is a close second.
That said, store-bought portobellos or large shiitake mushrooms work fine; just use the caps.
Whatever mushroom you grill, you need it to be large and firm for this to work right. King trumpet mushrooms work well, as do lobster mushrooms, really big chanterelles, other boletes, the caps of big agaricus like the Prince, or maybe a really large hedgehog. Cross sections of hen of the woods grill well, too.
Roaring high heat is the key to great grilled mushrooms. I get my grill up to 500°F or more. You could roast them in an oven at that temperature, too. Lay the mushrooms down on the cut side and don’t move them for a long while — you want those pretty grill marks.
I know this plate looks fancy, but it’s not. All this is are grilled mushrooms tossed with really good olive oil, salt and pepper, a bit of oregano and lemon zest. You can play with this as much as you want, altering the oil, the herbs and the acidic element. Verjus or good vinegar works as well a citrus.
Porcini, when grill-roasted like this, take on a dense, meaty texture. They smell of the forest and of that musky warmth that attracts most mammals. And they taste savory, are tender in the center yet crispy on the edges, juicy and just faintly sweet. They taste like the best mushroom you’ve ever eaten. Because they are.
I serve these grilled mushrooms as a side dish to other grilled things — we did sausage and stuffed grape leaves in the picture — or, it make s a fine vegetarian centerpiece, too.
- 1 pound mushrooms
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Salt, finely ground
- Juice and zest of a lemon
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- Black pepper to taste
- Get your grill hot, and make sure the grill grates are clean.
- Make sure the mushrooms are clean by wiping them with a damp paper towel and/or trimming dirty parts with a knife. You are looking for largish pieces that can stand up to the grill, so anything about 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch is good. I mostly prefer thick slices of porcini, or portobello caps.
- Toss the mushrooms in oil and salt them well. Lay them cut side down on the grill and let them sear until you get good grill marks, typically about 3 to 5 minutes. Turn them over and give the mushrooms another 2 to 3 minutes. You want browning, but not dried out mushrooms.
- Move the mushrooms to a bowl and toss with a bit more olive oil, crumbled oregano leaves, lemon zest and juice, and some black pepper.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
Sometimes when I grill porcini, they take on a bitter flavor. Any idea why that happens? I’ve gotten away from grilling them for that reason. Maybe I need to take them off the grill a little sooner. Love the idea of the lemon zest, I’ll give it another shot.
By the way, we’re having a bumper crop of the spring boletes in the Pacific Northwest this year. Not many morels to speak of but we keep tripping over the steinpilz looking for them. I’ve got 5 quarts of them dehydrated already and we’ve had many fresh in meals. Favorite meal of the season was a porcini and chard lasagne made with nettle pasta, over the top goodness.
Thanks for your ongoing inspiration.
Joseph: Yes, I get that, too, but only if I char them. If they aren’t fully dried/charred, they are excellent.
This is the only recipe from Hank that didn’t work for me in about a decade of following. The edges of mine got maybe just a bit dark and the bitterness was overwhelming. Maybe my fire was too hot? Shrooms looked exactly like the ones in the photos above too. Not sure. I used freshly picked king bolete (which were super nice). I’ll probably stick with the dry sauté method, or dry them.
Scott: Overwhelming bitterness? I bet you money you picked a bitter bolete then. They come up around the same time as the spring kings.
Hank, I have grilled many mushrooms and In my opinion Lion’s Mane is the very, very best. It reminds me of fois grad.
Lion’s manes are being cultivated and showing up at farmers’ markets. It’s a wonderful thing!
Mary: Interesting! I’ve never tried it. I will this winter. Thanks for the tip.
Long-time fan here. Did you get around to grilling the lion’s mane? I just harvested an assload, and am wondering if you have any suggestions for grilling them.
Rob: I have. You want to cut them into large pieces, like slabs of cauliflower you see grilled. That works pretty well.
Ah! A left-handed Lamson Sharp fish spatula.
My favorite left-handers tool, aside from my left hand
and old Garcia-Mitchell 411 spinning reel.
I have none.
So I will have to make due with portobello.
Marinated in an extract of dried porcini.
If using portobellos, do you scrape out the ribs in the underside or leave them in?
Dave: Leave them in.
Can’t do much of a comment right now, cause keyboard has too much drool on it lol.
Hank,I’m confused, in the introduction you say only cook on one side, don’t flip.
In the instructions you say flip over after a few minutes. ?
Randy: Oops, good catch! I fixed it. You do flip the mushrooms.
What kind of grill is that Hank?
Chris: It’s a Kudu grill, from Georgia.