Miso Grilled Portobello & Kale Caesar Pitas

Miso grilled portobello and kale caesar pitas are a delicious and simple vegan dinner. Tons of greens, smoky mushrooms, and creamy dressing (that can also be made nut-free).

An up close, overhead shot of two pitas stuffed with creamy-dressed kale, sliced grilled mushrooms and quartered cherry tomatoes. The pitas are inside a small rectangular dish on top of a blue-ish grey background.
An overhead shot of ingredients for making a grilled mushroom pita with greens.
An up close shot of ingredients for a marinade in a shallow white dish.
Image shows portobello mushrooms having their gills scraped out with a spoon.

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 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. More Caesar goodness in the form of a Kale & Brussels Sprout Caesar Salad here and a Sun Dried Tomato Pesto Smashed Potatoes here.

In terms of cooking this, the mushrooms marinate and while that’s happening, you make your caesar dressing and salad. The base is kale so it can hang out for a while. Once the portobellos are grilled, 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

Image shows marinated portobello mushrooms on a grill outdoors.
Image shows a hand pouring a creamy dressing over some chopped kale in a bowl.
Image shows a plate of grilled and sliced portobello mushrooms.
An overhead shot of two pitas stuffed with creamy-dressed kale, sliced grilled mushrooms and quartered cherry tomatoes. The pitas are inside a small rectangular dish on top of a blue-ish grey background.
Miso grilled Portobello & Kale Caesar Pitas - The First Mess
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5 from 1 vote

Miso Grilled Portobello & Kale Caesar Pitas

Miso grilled portobello and kale caesar pitas are a delicious and simple vegan dinner. Tons of greens, smoky mushrooms, and creamy dressing.
PREP TIME25 mins
COOK TIME10 mins
MARINATING TIME20 mins
TOTAL TIME55 mins
Diet Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings: 4
Author: Laura Wright

Equipment

Ingredients

Portobellos

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

Kale Caesar & Assembly (makes extra dressing)

  • ½ cup raw cashews, soaked for 2 hours and drained
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon capers
  • 1 teaspoon grainy mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon coconut aminos or tamari
  • sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • cup water, plus extra
  • 4 cups chopped lacinato kale, from approximately 1 small bunch
  • 4 whole wheat pita, warmed & cut in half
  • sliced tomato (optional)

Instructions

  • 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!

Notes

  • If you’re allergic to nuts, use raw sunflower seeds. Soak them for the same amount of time.
  • I have an old Vitamix 5200 series blender, 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.


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