This grilled porcini mushrooms dish, inflected with garlic, thyme, rosemary, and mint, gives this poor man’s steak a decidedly Italian flavor. Oh, and it’s wicked easy.
Nothing against portobellos or shiitakes, but there’s an otherworldliness, an other sort of earthiness, about porcini that’s simply superlative to other types of mushrooms. As author Pamela Sheldon Johns explains, “The fresh Boletus edulis has a dense, meaty texture that has earned it the name ‘poor man’s steak.'” Although actually, that’s not entirely accurate given the price of porcini, unless you’re out foraging for them. At any rate, if you have yet to try them, perhaps this autumn is the time. You can justify the expense knowing that they’re only available for a relatively short amount of time each autumn. [Editor’s Note: We’re also quite adept at justifying fashion expenditures, so if ever you need some help, let us know.] Originally published October 25, 2011.–Renee Schettler Rossi
Grilled Porcini Mushrooms
- Quick Glance
- 5 M
- 25 M
- Serves 4 to 6
- 1 teaspoon minced flat-leaf parsley leaves
- 1 teaspoon minced thyme leaves
- 1 teaspoon minced rosemary leaves
- 1 teaspoon minced mint leaves
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
- 1 pound porcini mushrooms (about 6 medium)
- 1. Light a medium fire in a charcoal grill.
- 2. In a small bowl, stir together the herbs, garlic, and 1/3 cup olive oil.
- 3. Clean the mushrooms with a damp cloth. If desired, cut the mushrooms into 1/2-inch-thick slices and lightly brush them with oil. Grill until lightly browned, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a serving platter and brush with the herb-oil mixture. Serve at once.
Recipe Testers Reviews
I splurged and purchased porcini mushrooms, and this recipe for them was great!
The full flavor of porcini mushrooms pretty much demands a somewhat robust dressing. The garlic and herb dressing is on the pungent side, so this offsets and complements the porcini mushrooms quite nicely. If using less pungent mushrooms, I feel their flavor would get a bit lost amongst the (raw) garlic and herbs. I also firmly believe that salt is requisite in most recipes, and love a fresh grind or two of black pepper, as well. After trying the mushrooms prepared as laid out, I found this recipe really comes to life with the addition of salt — I used a lightly smoked sea salt, along with some freshly ground black pepper.
It's unfortunate that the price of porcini is rather high, but this recipe is worth it. I paid $19 for a pound of smaller ones, but they’re very rich, full-flavored mushrooms, and I feel that even shiitake and portobello cannot live up to the porcini’s reputation. Because my mushrooms were on the small side (about 25 in a pound), I grilled them whole.
These grilled porcini mushrooms are a delicious way to enjoy fresh mushrooms in season. I think so many people forget about mint when using fresh herbs, and I was glad to see that it was included in this recipe.
While the recipe suggests that the mushrooms are cut into slices prior to grilling, they can easily be grilled whole. Just watch your fire!
These simple grilled porcini mushrooms turned out to be quite delicious. It just needs the addition of a pinch or two of salt and some pepper. I used portobellos instead of porcinis, and they were very good. I even chopped up the leftovers and tossed it with pasta. I’ll be making this again soon.