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Badger, badger, badger, badger, MUSHROOM, MUSHROOM!

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Did anyone ever watch that online? I think it was a hoppin video back when I was in the 10th grade. So maybe you’ve seen it, and more likely, you haven’t, but it’s all a lead-in to…the portobello sandwich!

In high school biology, I remember learning that mushrooms are in fact, incredibly clever organisms. Not only do they release trillions of spores (kind of gross, but mostly cool), but they break down decomposing and sometimes toxic matter and turn it into edible protein. At least, some mushrooms do. Like portobellos. Obviously, many mushrooms aren’t edible, a sure result of how and what they feed on, but I think they’re really cool and wonderfully perfumed when cooked.

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I was going for the grilled portobello idea, when I realized I didn’t have a grill or a grill pan, so I roasted the mushroom cap instead. To my surprise, the mushroom was meaty, substantive, and delicious, which is what I had heard, but didn’t quite believe. Just season them with a little olive oil and salt, and pop them in the oven or onto the grill for about 10 minutes. I rubbed in some pistachio pesto that I made into the gills for flavor and used it for sandwich spread.

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You also HAVE to try this pesto. The pistachios add a bright quirkiness to the basil and make it taste really buttery. Pistachios, you ask? Yep. I figured I would go all green and use green nuts in the pesto too. Although, okay, garlic and parmesan aren’t green. But I tried.


Recipe for Portobello Sandwich (for 1)

1 portobello mushroom cap

1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil, 1/8 tsp salt

Two slices sturdy, nutty bread (I used an organic multi-grain)

2 teaspoons pesto (see below for pistachio pesto recipe)

1/2 sliced medium tomato

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Remove stem from mushroom. Season it with olive oil and salt (I rubbed a little pesto in, too, but you don’t have to). Bake or grill for 10-12 minutes.

2. Once the mushroom is done, you can assemble the sandwich! Yep, pretty easy.

For the Pistachio Pesto

2 cups basil, loosely packed

1/4 cup pistachios, shelled

1/2 cup spinach (the secret ingredient that helps your pesto stay green!)

1 clove garlic

1/2 cup fresh grated parmesan

1/2 tsp salt

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1. Blend all of the above ingredients in a food processor.

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