There’s nothing that screams “summer” more than the sight and smell of grills being fired up. Warm-weather grilling is a signal not just of soon-to-be delicious food, but of the laid-back, cheery relaxation of summer evenings. And guess what fungi makes the list of “top five” veggies people love to cook on the grill? Mushrooms (via Monterey Mushrooms)!
Whether they’re tiny button mushrooms, portabellas, or anything in between, mushrooms can make an amazingly healthy and delicious addition to your summer grilling menu — if you know how to cook them right. Not only that, but scientists from Mushroom Technological Research Center in Spain have published a paper showing that, unlike boiling and frying, grilling mushrooms is actually the best way of keeping all of their healthful nutrients and antioxidants intact. Irene Roncero, one of the authors of the paper, said, “When mushrooms were cooked by microwave or grill, the content of polyphenol and antioxidant activity increased significantly, and there are no significant losses in nutritional value of the cooked mushrooms” (via ScienceDaily).
Grilled mushrooms are delicious and healthy
There are a couple of key points to keep in mind when grilling mushrooms. First, which grilling technique you use should depend on the size of the mushroom. For large mushrooms, like portabella caps, cook them directly on the grill grates (after brushing with olive oil so they don’t stick). For small- and medium-sized mushrooms, like creminis or white button, carefully thread them onto skewers to grill. And for very small or sliced mushrooms, grill them in a grill pan or in foil packets. Mushrooms break easily, so be gentle, and keep in mind that, because of their high water content, they’ll shrink significantly when cooked (via The Spruce Eats).
Next, mushrooms are very porous — like little sponges — and will easily soak up any marinade or seasoning that they are exposed to. With that in mind, clean them before grilling by brushing any dirt off with a damp paper towel, or by giving them a quick rinse and then patting dry. Just don’t soak them in water to clean — they’re likely to turn soggy, as well as less likely to hang on to the seasoning you really want them to have. Brushing them with seasoned olive oil, or marinating them ahead of time in an oil-based marinade, will help them absorb lots of flavor and not stick to the grill, regardless of which grilling method you use.
Then, whether grilled mushrooms are the main dish or the side, relax and enjoy your meal knowing that it’s not only delicious, but good for you too!
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