Roasted Portobello Mushroom

I love mushrooms, and the portobello is at the top of my list of favorite edible fungi.  It has such great complex flavors and a wonderfully meaty, yet silky texture when you bite into it.  And because it has a deep earthy aroma, it naturally pairs well with herbs such as thyme and oregano.  This large mushroom makes for a perfect meal: it is hearty and filling, but still light as air.  Trust me, you will love it.

(makes 4)
Ingredients:
– 4 portobello mushrooms (stems removed)
– 5 teaspoons olive oil
– 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
– 2 sprigs fresh thyme (leaves removed, stems discarded)
– 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
– salt
– pepper
– small block parmigiano reggiano cheese (optional)
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1.  Preheat oven to 425F.  Brush the tops of the mushrooms with olive oil, then place, gill side up, onto a baking sheet.  Sprinkle onto each mushroom a pinch each of the garlic, thyme leaves, dried oregano, salt, and pepper.  Drizzle 1 teaspoon of olive oil onto each mushroom.
2.  Bake on the center rack of the 425F oven for 15-20 minutes.  You will know they are done when the mushrooms have wilted slightly and the juices in the center are bubbling.  Remove from oven.  Using a vegetable peeler, top each mushroom with some shavings of cheese.  Serve immediately.
3.  Wasn’t that easy?  Now go eat!
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*  Don’t have parmigiano reggiano?  You can use a regular parmesan or any other hard cheese, such as pecorino.
*  Always try to use fresh thyme, it is much more fragrant and flavorful than its dried version.  But I prefer dried oregano over fresh (fresh oregano is sometimes too overpowering).

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