Monday, June 1, 2009

Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

While these might look like cow patties on a plate, they are really delicious. They are also healthy and vegetarian. If you omit the cheese, they are vegan.

We love to throw dinner parties for our friends and family. Sometimes a guest requests a vegetarian meal, which I am happy to provide. I developed this recipe for an upcoming meetup called Summer Fruit, where twelve of us will gather at my home Saturday, June 13, to prepare a six-course gourmet lunch. The stuffed mushrooms will be served with a zucchini sauce and roasted purple potatoes. For the purpose of testing the recipe, I made two mushrooms for Stacy and my Sunday dinner.

The mushrooms come from Far West Fungi, the mushroom purveyor in the San Francisco Ferry Building. I used whole portobellos for the base, a mix of wild mushrooms, fresh zephyr squash, and an aged cheddar for the stuffing. These are very tasty.

Recipe: Vegetable-Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms
Serves 4
Add roasted potatoes and the portobellos can take center stage as a vegetarian entree.

1 yellow onion
1 1/2 lb summer squashes including zucchini
4 teaspoons olive oil + olive oil as needed
2 to 3 teaspoons minced garlic
1/4 cup unoaked dry white wine
8 ounces chopped wild mushrooms
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme, or 1/4 teaspoon dried
Kosher salt to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, or to taste
4 large portobello mushrooms
6 ounces grated Gouda or Gruyere cheese (or aged cheddar)
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs + breadcrumbs for topping
Chopped parsley (optional garnish)

Preheat oven to 400ยบ.
Clean the portobellos and cut off stems flush to the caps; discard stems. Brush smooth side of the mushrooms with oil, then season both sides generously with salt and pepper. Place mushrooms on a baking sheet, gill side up and roast in oven until mushrooms release moisture about 8 minutes. Allow to cool

Cut the onion into small dice. Grate the squashes to look like short noodles. In a skillet, heat 2 teaspoons of the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until it begins to soften. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant. Add the wine, squashes, chopped mushrooms and thyme. Cook until soft and the mushrooms have released their moisture; the vegetables should be fairly dry. Season with 1 teaspoon salt and a large pinch of pepper. Transfer the mixture to a small bowl and set aside.

This vegetable mixture may be made up to a day ahead; cover and refrigerate.

Combine vegetable mixture, cheese and breadcrumbs. Taste and adjust seasoning. Divide stuffing among caps, mounding generously. Sprinkle more breadcrumbs over the top. Bake until portobellos are cooked, stuffing is heated through, cheese has melted and breadcrumbs have browned -- about 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the thickness of portobellos, temperature of the stuffing and thickness of the pan.

Garnish, if desired, with parsley.

Note: If preparing filling that has been made ahead and refrigerated, allow additional time to bake.

Stacy and John Murphy host an instructional, nutritious, and fun hands-on cooking class one or two Saturdays each month using ingredients that come fresh from the San Francisco Farmer’s Market.

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