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Portabello Mushroom Quesadillas

Time 45 minutes
Yields Serves 8
Portabello Mushroom Quesadillas

Garlic oil

1

Heat the oil and garlic in a saucepan over very low heat just until tiny bubbles appear around the garlic, about 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let the oil stand 1 hour. Use a slotted spoon to discard the garlic.

Quesadillas

1

Build a charcoal fire in an outdoor grill and let it burn until the coals are covered with white ash. In a gas grill, preheat on high.

2

Lightly oil the cooking rack. Brush the mushroom caps liberally with garlic oil and lightly season them with salt and pepper. Place the mushrooms on the grill and cover. Grill, turning once, until the mushrooms are tender, about 6 minutes. Transfer them to a cutting board and slice into 1/2-inch-wide strips.

3

Place 4 tortillas on a work surface and sprinkle each with 1/4 cup of the cheese. Top with equal amounts of the mushroom strips, sprinkle with the herbs, then carefully place each on the grill. Top each with one of the remaining tortillas. Grill the quesadillas until the underside is lightly browned, about 45 seconds, then turn and grill to brown the other side. Cut each quesadilla into 6 wedges and serve immediately.

From “Barbecues 101" by Rick Rodgers (Broadway, $15). Fontina has a mild mushroom flavor that goes so well with the grilled portabellos that, although you can substitute Jack or mozzarella, it’s worth searching out. Garlic oil is great for grilling vegetables, meats and poultry when you want just a bit more flavor. Or use it in a vinaigrette. Make it in small batches because it tends to spoil quickly, even when refrigerated.

Russ Parsons is a former food writer and columnist at the Los Angeles Times.
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