Recipe of the Week | Grilled Portobello Tortas

Grilled Portobello Tortas | Photo Credit Randolph Graham

 

What is a torta? Torta is a Spanish-language word that has various meanings when applied to food but to me it has always meant sandwich. It can be hot or cold and is unbelievably hearty and delicious when properly prepared. When you make a torta with Portobello mushrooms, avocado, a spicy Salvadorian curtido and cilantro – it’s a vegetarian delight that can’t be beat!

 

Curtido Ingredients:

4 cups shredded cabbage

1 medium carrot, coarsely grated

½ cup onion (thinly sliced)

1 fresh large jalapeño (seeded and finely diced)

½ cup white vinegar

½ cup water

1 teaspoons salt

2 teaspoons sugar

1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano

 

Torta Ingredients:

4 large Portobello mushrooms

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 ripe avocado

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

¼ cup cilantro (chopped fine)

4 fresh-baked Mexican bolillos (cut in half – crusty Kaiser rolls also work well)

1 lime (cut into 4 wedges for garnish)

 

Curtido Directions:

Pour 4 cups boiling water over cabbage, carrot, onion, and jalapeño in bowl. Steep 5 minutes. Drain. Set aside. Bring vinegar, water, salt, sugar, and oregano to a boil in saucepan. Pour over cabbage mixture. Cover mixture and allow to marinate while grilling the mushrooms.

 

Torta Directions:

Heat grill to medium heat (350 – 400 degrees). Remove stems from mushrooms and clean mushroom tops to remove any residual dirt/mulch. Brush tops and bottoms of mushrooms with olive oil. Grill mushrooms for 8 minutes on one side, turn over, and continue to grill the other side for another 8 minutes. Remove from grill and set aside. Grill buns for about 1 minute or until nice grill marks appear. Remove from grill and set aside.

In a small bowl, mash the avocado with the lime juice. Spread the mashed avocado on the bottom half of the bolillos. Place one mushroom on top of each bolillo half. Mound ½ cup of curtido on top the mushroom. Add a tablespoon of cilantro on top of that and place the tops of the bolillos on the finished tortas. Cut in half and serve with escabeche (marinated jalapenos, carrots and onions) and a wedge of lime on the side.


Chef Randy’s latest book: Ojai Valley Grill It Cookbook: vegetarian and vegan recipes and tips for successful grilling with color photoon Sale at AMAZON

For additional recipes, see Chef Randy’s website at valley-vegetarian.com.


Chef Randy has been a vegetarian for over 40 years and eats local and organic grain, fresh fruit, and vegetables as much as possible. He is known locally as the “Healthy Chef.” His column, Chef Randy, is syndicated in California newspapers. See his website at Valley-Vegetarian.com for more recipes.


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