Portabella Mushrooms, Tasty, Meaty, Functional
Marty Martindale

The portabella mushroom is a hamburger-sized, impressive, saucer-shaped, smooth-topped, portobellobrownish-gray mushroom. Its underside is an impressive, delicate array of dark fanned-out gills. Its stem is whitish, stout and edible. A favorite of vegetarians, portabellas have a rich, almost meaty flavor enhanced with more roasting, sautéing or grilling. They are the mature version of crimimi mushrooms.

Besides being a favorite meat substitute, portabellas function as lifters or like sixteenth century bread trenchers. Uncut, their structure supports other foods just as pizza crust supports its toppings, or bread, as bowls, support servings of hot soup.

Use whole portabellas functionally as slices of bread holding a filling in a sandwich, top them like pizzas, surround hamburgers with them. Stuff them. Use them as lasagna panels. Cheese them, marinate them or use them as a bruschetta base. Grill them as non-steaks. Chopped, slied or diced portabellos make interesting salads, cream soups, salsas, chutney and more.

It is said there are around 38,000 varieties of mushrooms in the world, some delicious, some poisonous. Back around 1000 BCE the Greeks and Egyptian Pharaohs were eating mushroom and denying them to the non-elite. They were later cultivated in France around 1700 and arrived in the Americas around the late 1800s.

Portabellas are high in riboflavin, niacin and pantothenic acid, or a good many of the B vitamins.

Mushrooms are sold fresh with their stems attached, or sliced and packaged with the stems removed. As with all vegetables, select clean, firm portabellas, ones with no signs if wilting or spotting. They should be dry, never wet and have a clear, earthy smell.

Store in the refrigerator, unwrapped, in a bowl and covered with dry paper toweling. They need some circulation of air. Plan to use them before a week passes.  Clean gently with a dampened cloth.

\Uncooked mushrooms do not freeze well.


You can use sliced, diced or whole portabellas in any recipe which calls for mushrooms.

Below is some foodsites with portabella recipes.




Marty Martindale

About Marty Martindale

Foodsite Magazine and Marty aim to help the cooking-challenged avoid dependence on others due to lack of cooking knowhow. We concentrate on quick breakfasts, portable lunches and “good-4-u” night meals. With readily available web translation, the magazine explains separate foods, a little of their history, their nutrition, suggested “go-withs,” serving ideas and links to foodsites with recipes.

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