• Yield: Serves 6

Lucy says, "I am a former vegetarian, but at my house we still enjoy meat-free cookouts. I find that some of the best tasting grill items are meat-free. Try this one that both meat eaters and vegetarians alike will devour."


  • 6 Portobello mushroom caps brushed clean.

  • About 4 tablespoons of Olive Oil

  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper

  • Pesto (I make my own but one time I used a jar of prepared pesto from the Cinque Terre and it was delicious!)

  • Fresh cow's milk mozzarella (one small sliced in 6 rounds)


1. Get your coals going so the grill surface is ready to cook when you are.

2. On prep surface, brush olive oil generously onto top and bottom of mushroom caps. Salt and pepper to season. Set caps on baking sheet or other flat surface.

3. Grab a friend to help you haul outside: the baking sheet with mushrooms, mozzarella cheese slices, a teaspoon, any extra oil and your basting brush, and the homemade or favorite prepared pesto sauce open and ready.

4. Place mushrooms, underside down, on hot surface long enough to allow some grill marks to appear. Baste if things start looking dry. Turn over (top side down and spoon a teaspoon of pesto each on the cradle of the mushroom. Then add a slice of mozz cheese and cover the grill. Let it cook for a few minutes (I've never timed this) until tender. Be gentle handling the stuffed cap as you slide it back on to the serving platter with a ample sized spatula.

5. Serve with a white bean salad with balsamic vinegrette and crusty bread. Your guests will swoon.

There—you've covered your bases with a USDA square meal suitable for everyone including vegetarians, but not vegans.

From Lucy Norris