In France, the portobello is called champignon de Paris. Champignon is the French word for fungus.
In the wild the common brown mushroom can have a cap that grows 2 to 4 inches wide. Cultivated portobellos can have caps twice that size or more since they are encouraged to mature. The portobello is a thick, meaty mushroom with a broad open cap and a woodsy aroma. You can make a meal of the portobello served alone.
You can throw the portobello on the outdoor grill during the summer and serve it just like a hamburger. The portobello can also be fried or oven roasted.
Here is a rich, buttery recipe for oven grilled Portobello. Garnish these with minced fresh parsley or chervil leaves.
12 portobello mushroom caps
½ cup olive oil
½ teaspoon salt
1. Wash mushroom caps and drain well.
2. Pour oil into a baking pan and heat it in a very hot preheated oven (450ºF).
3. Add mushrooms and stir to coat them thoroughly with oil. Sprinkle with salt.
4. Return the pan to the oven and cook 10 minutes or until the mushrooms are done.
5. Remove mushrooms from the oven and fill the cavities with firm butter. Serve.
Makes 6 servings.