We’ve probably all eaten or tossed a Portobello mushroom on the grill at one time or another. Sometimes with greater or lesser success. I’ve had brilliant, tender, juicy ones and ones that taste like burned dirt braised in a sea of soy sauce. But either way, they’re a bit predictable and been-there-done-that. I do, however, love mushrooms. Especially big meaty porcinis, boletes, chanterelles, and king trumpets.
So, as it’s grilling season, I thought, why not throw the mushrooms that I actually do like to eat on the grill? I used king trumpets for this recipe, but only because that’s what I happened upon at the market. You can use any meat mushroom (see the ones I mentioned above) with equally scrumptious results.
Brushed with garlic and herb-infused olive oil, the mushrooms turn golden brown, the edges crisp, and they take on a fragrant smokiness. You can sprinkle them with a little salt and just eat them on their own, or toss them into this earthy kale and bacon salad, which I dressed with a squeeze of lemon and the remaining infused oil.
This is hearty enough to eat on it’s own, or serve it alongside any grilled meat. Leave out the bacon to make it vegan! And of course it’s naturally gluten-free.
Recipe: Grilled King Trumpet Mushroom, Kale, and Bacon Salad with Lemon-Herb Vinaigrette
Makes 4 to 6 servings
- 1/2 lb large meaty wild mushrooms such as king trumpet, porcini/bolete, or chanterelle
- 2 or 3 strips applewood-smoked bacon, chopped
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp mixed fresh herbs such as parsley, thyme, oregano, and/or mint
- 1 bunch lacinato kale, ribs removed and leaves cut into strips crosswise
- Kosher salt
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- Clean the mushrooms with a damp cloth, trim the stems, and cut into 1/2 thick slices. If the mushrooms are too small to place directly on the cooking grate of your grill, thread them onto skewers or have ready a perforated grilling tray. Prepare a charcoal grill for direct heat grilling over medium heat.
- In a frying pan, cook the bacon, stirring, until crisp, about 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to paper towels to drain.
- In a bowl, stir together 1 tbsp of the bacon drippings with the olive oil, garlic, and herbs. Place the kale in a serving bowl, sprinkle with a little salt and the lemon juice, and massage gently with your hands. Set aside.
- Brush the cooking grate of the grill clean, then oil the grate. Brush the mushroom slices lightly with the herb-oil mixture. Grill the mushrooms, turning frequently, until tender and browned, 6–8 minutes. Transfer the mushrooms to a plate and brush with a little more of the herb-oil mixture. Chop the mushrooms into bite-sized pieces. Taste and season with a little salt.
- Add the bacon and mushrooms to the salad. Drizzle with enough of the herb-oil mixture to lightly coat the salad, a tablespoon or so. Toss to combine and serve right away.