Roasted Portobello with Currant Millet and Curry sauce

butterfly Serves: 6

Written By Eydie Desser


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I love to give the “Garden of Eydie” treatment (i.e. plant base it)  to recipes from my favorite chef’s cookbooks.  This one is fashioned after Alfred Portale’s Squab Salad with Couscous, Currants and Curry Vinaigrette from his Gotham Bar & Grill cookbook.  We substitute the squab with meaty portobello mushrooms,  and use millet instead of couscous for its high nutritional content.  We served it with a curry sauce, no oil or salt, instead of the suggested curry vinaigrette.  Just know that you too, can get inspiration from your favorite recipes and give them a plant-based upgrade!

Equipment needed: Blender


  • 2 cups GOE house stock, or low salt vegetable stock, or water
  • 1 cup raw millet
  • ¼ cup dried currants
  • 1 medium white or yellow onion roughly chopped                                                                    
  • 1 thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger peeled and grated (1 tablespoon)                                           
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced (1 tablespoon)                                                                   
  • 1 dried chile de arbol, lightly toasted, stem and seeds removed, and minced           
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder                                                                             
  • 400 ml can, lite coconut milk
  • lemon juice to taste (start with 3 tablespoons) + more for salad greens
  • 4 medium sized portobello mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 scallions finely sliced on the bias
  • leafy greens of your choice, arugula, Lola Rossa, red leaf, cleaned and dried


Make the Millet:
  1. In a 3-quart saucepan, bring the vegetable stock, or water, millet and currants to a boil over high heat..  Reduce the heat to low and simmer for approximately 15 minutes, or until all of the liquid is absorbed. 
  2. Remove the saucepan from the heat and cover with a lid. Let sit for 10 minutes. Remove the lid and fluff the millet with a fork.  
  3. Transfer to a bowl.  (At this point the millet can be made in advance and kept in the refrigerator for up to 4 days)
Make the Curry Sauce:
  1. Dry saute: heat a 10-inch saucepan (pan with sides) on medium high heat for a minute or so.  Add the onion, ginger, garlic and chili. Stir continuously for 1 minute, cover and turn down the heat to low.  Cook for 2 minutes more. Remove the cover and give the mixture a stir, and continue to cook and stir allowing the vegetables to soften, about 2 more minutes until softened.
  2. Add curry powder and continue to cook for two minutes.
  3.  Add coconut milk. Bring to a simmer and let cook 3-4 minutes until reduced and thickened,  Remove from the heat. 
  4. Pour mixture into a blender and blend to a very smooth and creamy sauce.
Make the Portobello Mushrooms:

Preheat Oven to 375℉

  1. Clean the mushrooms with a wet paper towel, de-stem and remove the gills with a spoon.  
  2. Lightly sprinkle the mushrooms with balsamic vinegar and rub it in with your fingers.  Add 1 tablespoon of curry sauce to each mushroom and rub all over, the top and bottom.
  3. Place the mushrooms on a parchment paper or silpat lined sheet pan, gill side up, and place in the preheated oven.  Bake for 10-12 minutes, depending on the size of the mushrooms, or until the mushrooms are a bit wilted and tender when pierced with a toothpick.  
  4. Remove the mushrooms from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes before slicing.
To Serve for Company:
  1. In a bowl, toss the lettuce greens with a squeeze of lemon juice and a small amount of curry sauce to lightly coat.
  2. Measure one cup of millet and add 3 or 4 tablespoons curry sauce to coat.  Squeeze a bit of lemon juice (to taste) to add brightness.  Save the scallion slices to sprinkle on top before serving.
  3. Using a chef’s knife, slice the portobello mushrooms to ¼-inch thick. 
  4. On 4 warmed plates, mound ¼ cup of the millet with currants in the middle of the plate.  Transfer one sliced mushroom resting against the millet, fanning out the slices on each plate.  Nuzzle the salad greens in between the millet and mushrooms.
  5. Decorate the plate with more curry sauce around the dish.  Sprinkle millet with reserved sliced scallions and serve warm.
For Everyday plating:
  1. Spread ¼ cup millet on one side of the plate, dice mushrooms to ½ inch pieces, instead of slicing them, and add on top of the millet.  
  2. Drizzle with curry sauce and sprinkle with lemon juice.  
  3. Sprinkle it with scallion, and place the salad on the side of the plate. Pour remaining curry sauce in a sauce boat and serve.
butterfly Cook's Notes:

The curry sauce can be made ahead and refrigerated for up to 4 days. Warm over low heat before serving.

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