One of my favorite things to do is to replicate a great dish I have eaten at a restaurant or, as in this case, a prepared food market.
Ceriello Fine Foods at Grand Central Market carries a delicious Portobello mushroom stack that is out of this world, and easy to make at home. You can serve this as an appetizer, or a light lunch if served with a salad.
Here’s how I do it:
- Four large Portobello mushroom caps, about 4” in diameter
- Olive oil
- Two large beefsteak tomatoes, about 4” in diameter
- 2 large balls of fresh mozzarella, about 4” in diameter
- 4 slices of prosciutto (optional)
- Balsamic vinegar
- 4 slices of roasted red bell pepper, roughly 4” in diameter
- 4 large fresh basil leaves
Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and set aside.
Move one oven rack to the upper part of the oven and preheat the broiler.
Gently brush the tops of the mushrooms with a damp paper towel to remove any dirt or grit. Remove the stems from the mushroom and using a tablespoon, gently scrape the brown gills from the mushrooms. Brush the tops and the bottoms of the mushrooms with olive oil and place on the prepared baking sheet, gill-side up.
Place baking sheet under the broiler and broil for 3-4 minutes, until the mushrooms begin to let off a little steam. Remove from oven, flip the mushrooms over and return to the broiler for another 2 -3 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. (The rest of the recipe calls for the use of a microwave oven, but if you do not have a microwave, turn the oven to “bake” at 350 degrees.)
Slice each tomato into 1/4-inch slices, remove seeds, and set aside. Slice each mozzarella ball into 1/4-inch slices and set aside. You should have 8 slices of each.
Transfer the mushrooms gill-side up to a microwave-proof platter, or if not using a microwave, flip the mushrooms over on the baking sheet.
Assemble the stacks: place one slice of tomato on each mushroom, followed by one slice of mozzarella. Splash a small bit of balsamic vinegar onto the cheese (and I mean just a bit – a little goes a long way here). If using prosciutto, place one slice on top of the cheese, then add another layer of tomato, mozzarella, and splash of vinegar.
Top each stack with a slice of roasted red pepper, and place the platter in the microwave for 1 – 2 minutes, until the cheese just begins to melt. (If using the oven, bake for 3-5 minutes, until the cheese begins to melt. Let the stacks cool a bit after removing them from the oven.)
Top each stack with a fresh basil leaf and serve immediately.