Miso grilled Portobello & Kale Caesar Pitas - The First Mess
Miso grilled Portobello & Kale Caesar Pitas - The First Mess

Even just a tiny window of sunshine and warmth has me wanting to grill pretty much immediately. We had one sun-filled day over the long weekend and you bet your butt I was out there with the tongs flipping the veg and enjoying my cold beverage alongside. Cooking outside is one of my top 5, all-time favourite things. Maybe I should move to a warmer climate so I can do it all the time? ;)

Mushrooms are one of my favourite things to grill because they get super juicy and smoky. I dig a good portobello cap (like we’re cooking up in this recipe), but am equally in love with little mushrooms cooked in a grill bag or perforated grill pan. It’s just that meatiness and the simplicity of the preparation that really does it for me. Perfect dinner with a little salad, some lentils/chickpeas, and maybe a few other grilled veg in the mix.

These miso grilled portobello and kale caesar pitas are an all-out garlic fest, just be warned. They’re delicious, full of flavour, simple to make, but yes: Dragon breath for real after you enjoy them. The mushrooms marinate and while that’s happening, you make your caesar dressing and salad. The base is kale so it can hang for a while. Once the portobellos are cooked, you slice them up and stuff them into warm pitas with handfuls of the kale salad and sliced tomatoes. Easy and quick handheld flavour bombs right here.

Sending warm, early spring-basking love out to you all. Feels like the season is finally here! :D

Miso grilled Portobello & Kale Caesar Pitas - The First Mess


Print the recipe here!
NOTES: If you’re allergic to nuts, use raw sunflower seeds. Soak them for the same amount of time.
-I have an old version of this blender (affiliate link), and generally don’t need to soak my cashews before blending. If you have a similar high speed blender, you can probably skip the soak too.
-I really recommend gently heating the pita before cutting and filling. Cold pita can tear quite easily. I preheat my oven to 225 C, place the pita right on the oven racks, and let them warm up for 10 minutes.

¼ cup balsamic vinegar
¼ cup olive or avocado oil
2 tablespoons light miso (I used a chickpea one)
1 clove garlic, finely minced
2 teaspoons grainy mustard
sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
4 large portobello mushrooms

KALE CAESAR INGREDIENTS & ASSEMBLY (makes extra dressing):
½ cup raw cashews, soaked for 2 hours and drained
3 cloves of garlic, peeled
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon capers
1 teaspoon grainy mustard
¼ teaspoon coconut aminos (or tamari soy sauce)
sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
⅓ cup filtered water, plus extra
4 cups chopped lacinato kale (from approximately 1 small bunch)
4 whole wheat pita (the kind that opens up like a pocket), warmed & cut in half
sliced tomato, optional

Get the portobellos marinating. In a shallow glass dish, whisk together the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, miso, garlic, mustard, salt and pepper. Remove the stems from the portobellos and scrape out the gills with a spoon. Place the portobellos, caps facing down, into the marinade. Spoon some of the marinade into the “cup” of the caps and spread it around. Let the portobellos marinate at room temperature for 20 minutes, flipping them over at the halfway point.

While the portobellos are marinating, make the kale caesar. In an upright blender, combine the cashews, garlic, lemon juice, capers, mustard, coconut aminos, salt, pepper, and water. Bring the blender up to high speed and blend until you have a smooth and creamy dressing. If it seems too thick, add a bit more water and blend again until you have a pourable, but still thick, consistency.

Place the chopped kale in a large bowl. Pour half of the cashew caesar dressing over the kale, along with some salt and pepper. Massage the dressing into the kale until every piece is coated. Taste a piece to see if you’d like more dressing, salt etc. Set aside.

Preheat a grill to high. Grab a flipping spatula and your portobellos. Place the portobellos on the grill, top side facing down. Pour the remaining marinade into the caps. Close the lid and grill for 3-4 minutes, or until slightly collapsed and charred on the edges. Flip the portobellos over. Close the lid and cook for 3-4 more minutes. The portobellos should be soft and juicy-looking.

Once you can handle them, cut the portobellos into strips. Divide the miso grilled portobello strips and kale caesar among the 4 warmed split pita. Add sliced tomato if you like. Enjoy the kale caesar pitas immediately!

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