Portobello mushrooms are a griller's dream. They're a perfect red-meat alternative not only for vegetarians, but also for folks who are watching their calorie or fat intake. They couldn't be simpler to cook. They're extremely versatile and useful in a vast range of dishes.

Here are the basics:

  • Cut off the stem close to the base of the cap.
  • Do not wash a mushroom under water. Instead, tap it on a flat surface to loosen any dirt, then gently remove dirt from between the "gills" with your finger or a mushroom brush.
  • Brush olive oil on both sides of the mushroom.
  • Grill over medium heat for about 5 or 6 minutes, turning it over once or twice to cook evenly.
  • Choose from many serving options: As burgers, adding any toppings -- cheeses, lettuce, tomato, etc. -- that you would put on a meat burger. On top of greens as a salad. As filling for fajitas, tacos or burritos.