Market Challenge Portobello Mushrooms

by Pamela


Grilled Portobello Mushrooms with Manchego Cheese

A few weeks ago, you may remember that I did a Farmer’s Market challenge with my friend Greg from Sippity Sup and challenged him with lavender – from which he made an incredible lavender creme brulée. He challenged me with sour plums…which begat spicy pickled plums.

This week I threw down the challenge gauntlet to my friend Lynne over at Cook & Be Merry.  The cooking and photography that pours forth from this powerhouse of a lady is extraordinary!  Her mind is always working and setting up an artistic shot or trying to put together something scrumptious (I can’t believe I just used that word…but it’s so true in this case.).

So as we meandered through farmer’s market we talked about almost every topic imaginable.  I was having so much fun with Lynne, I even broke my cardinal rule of market shopping “don’t sit down and eat anything.”  I usually don’t do this because it leads to me buying even more things at the market that just won’t fit in my fridge or on my counters.  But I had to have a Grand Marnier Crepe while Lynne partook of some bbq that I’m still dreaming about.

I’ll let her show you what I got for her.  But she bought me some huge portobello’s.  I originally thought these were destined to become grilled and turned into monster portobello mushroom burgers, but I just couldn’t bring myself to cover them up with all that bread.  So I paired them with some lemon thyme oil, grilled them, then sprinkled them with a touch of kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper and nice little blanket of shaved Manchego cheese.  The earthiness of the portobello’s were set off with the bright flavors of the thyme and lemon.  The sheep’s milk Manchego gives another little tang, but also has its own earthiness that pairs really well with the mushrooms.


Craig and I ate these as a mid-afternoon snack, but they would be perfect as an appetizer or as a warm dinner salad the next time you have people over.  It’s sure to be a huge hit.

Relationship Advice

What kind of women are men really looking for?

We all know the stereotype…tall, blonde, big boobs (make that ginormous boobs), amazing body, not quite dumb as a box of rocks (but close) and completely devoted to their guys every whim.  And then he wakes up from his absinthe induced dream….

The reality is, most guys are looking for a woman that just flat out turns them on – rocks them right down to their Earthy core.  That means you, with the badonkadonk, you with the curves, you with the desire to watch Sports Center instead of the news and yes, even you who barely reaches five foot tall on her best day.

You see, even though there are those who strive to live up to the stereotypes of the type of girl that’s perfect for a guy, at the end of the day what truly matters is how happy you are, not what “they” tell you will make you happy.  You can spend your life trying to fit into everyone else’s idea of what you should look and be like or you can spend your days being happy with who you are and with someone who is with you for who you are and not some theoretical perfection created by someone that is only know as “they.”

Makes 2


  • 2 Large Portobello Mushrooms (most of stem removed)
  • Zest of 1 Lemon
  • Small Handful of Fresh Thyme  – cut in half stems and all (sorry it’s not more specific than that, I just grabbed some)
  • 1/4 Cup Olive Oil
  • Kosher Salt
  • Shaved Manchego Cheese (use a vegetable peeler to get thin pieces – as much or as little as you like)
  • Fresh Ground Black Pepper


In a small food processor or blender, add thyme and olive oil.  Purée until completely smooth.  Stir in lemon zest and set aside for 2 hours.

Heat the grill to medium high (approximately 400 degrees Farenheit).

Brush lemon thyme oil onto cap side of mushroom and grill for 3 – 4 minutes.  (The time on this is going to vary a bit depending on the size and thickness of the mushrooms that you are using.)

While that side is grilling, brush the gill side of the mushroom with the remaining lemon thyme oil.

Flip mushrooms over and grill for 2 – 3 minutes.

Remove from heat.

Sprinkle kosher salt (to taste) on gill side of mushrooms.

Layer Manchego cheese evenly over the gill side of the mushrooms.

Grind fresh black pepper over cheese (to taste) and serve warm.


Magic of Spice July 16, 2010 at 7:11 pm

I love portobrllo mushrooms, and these sound fantastic!

sippitysup July 14, 2010 at 12:23 pm

These challenges could become a regular thing, huh? GREG

Pamela July 14, 2010 at 4:44 pm

Actually, I’ve put out the call to start a monthly “Market Challenge.” If you’re interested, either e-mail me or DM me on Twitter ( @MyMansBelly ). I will be sending out an e-mail soon with all the details.

marla {family fresh cooking} July 14, 2010 at 7:12 am

I too would not want to distract from the flavor of these portobello’s with some big bun. Love your addition of Manchego cheese. Simple preparation/great flavor!! Am I gonna see u this weekend for truffles?? hope so. xo

Pamela July 14, 2010 at 4:45 pm

I will be there on Saturday. Looking forward to seeing you.

Lentil Breakdown July 12, 2010 at 9:08 pm

I love portobellos and I like what you’ve done with them w/ the lemon and thyme. I don’t grill however. I had a bf in my 20’s who said, “Chicks can’t barbeque.” That’s not the reason I don’t, but I still remember it all these years later with piss and venom! There’s some fodder for your next post. Men: don’t tell your woman what she can’t do. You’re not the boss of her!

Pamela July 14, 2010 at 4:47 pm

Hmmmm….you’ve just given me a great idea for an upcoming advice bit.

You need to take it back and get yourself a grill…then a grilling cookbook. That’ll teach him. An ex-boyfriend of Lady GaGa told her she’d never succeed in the music industry.

Lynne @ CookandBeMerry July 12, 2010 at 3:28 pm

Well, I can see I’m going to have to get some portobello mushrooms. Really soon! OMG these look soooo delicious. That melted cheese gets me every time. Thanks again, Pam, for sharing this market challenge. I had so much fun with you.

Pamela July 14, 2010 at 4:48 pm

Thanks for taking on the challenge with me! I thought you might be surprised with the change up. but I just couldn’t do the bun thing with those mushrooms…they were just too perfect.

Cookin' Canuck July 12, 2010 at 9:49 am

I adore the meatiness of portobello mushrooms and manchego cheese is always such a treat. Lovely dish!

Pamela July 14, 2010 at 4:48 pm

Thank you! I’m a sucker for manchego too.

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