06 September 2012

Vegetable Stuffed Portabella Mushrooms

There is nothing like a big fresh portabella mushroom. When I was in the market yesterday, I found a big cardboard box sitting out in the produce section with a mound of these portabella mushrooms. They were so fresh and dirty - softly moist with no dry edges or puckered spots. I was already thinking about what I could stuff them with, as I picked up four that were as big around as softballs.

I never wash my mushrooms, do you? I just use a soft brush and a damp paper towel to rub them free of any loose soil. I know there's probably a residue of humus still there, but I prefer that to the slimy wetness they get when you wash them. Preparing portabellas for stuffing is a fun exercise for me ... I am always amazed at the soft brown gills and the satisfying 'pop' that the stem makes when you flick it loose with your thumb. The insides of the fungi is so white and perfect where the stem has snapped free. That little bowl of space with the gills and the outer rim of fringe is a blank palette for some creative slicing and dicing ...

Last night's dinner was almost completely meatless. These mushrooms got a soak in balsamic vinegar that was jazzed up with black pepper, garlic powder and onion powder. While they marinated, I did an easy sauté of an onion, a small zucchini, and a huge handful of spinach leaves. I let that cool down and then added roughly shredded Provolone cheese, salt, and black pepper. This mixture was mounded in the marinated portabellas. Then, I topped them with some garden tomatoes cut into thick slices. The colors alone are so pleasing ...

While the mushrooms were being prepped, there were roasted potato wedges and a pan of baby Brussels sprouts roasting in a hot oven. In went the mushrooms for a fast roast - just 15 - 20 minutes or so at 425 ° F. Just before they were done, I topped them with some grated Parmesan. I also topped the brussels sprouts with some slivered prosciutto and Parmesan ... just a little bit of each. Yum ... dinner was delish!

SB was a happy man, as so much of what was on the plate came right in the back door from his vegetable garden ... boy, will I miss the freshness come December!

Stuffed Portabella Mushrooms
1 c. balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
½ tsp. black pepper
4 very large perfectly fresh  Portabella mushrroms, rubbed clean and stems popped out and reserved
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 small onion, small dice
1 small zucchini ( about 8 inches) , small dice
reserved mushroom stems, cleaned and small dice
1 huge handful of fresh spinach (or kale) leaves, washed, spun dry, and sliced to ribbons
2 large tomatoes, washed and sliced to make eight thick slices
4 - 6 slices provolone cheese, ripped into uneven pieces
about ½ c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Making the Dish:

1. Whisk the vinegar, garlic and onion powders, and black pepper together in a small bowl.
2. Clean and prepare the mushrooms and place them in a large plastic bag.
3. Pour the vinegar over the mushromms, seal the bag and turn it abit to get the mushrooms soaked.
Let the mushrooms sit for about half an hour while you prepare the filling.
4. Preheat the oven to 425 ° F and rub a serving dish with some olive oil.
5. Pour 2 tbsp. olive oil into a fry pan and add the onions, mushroom stems, and zucchini. Sauté until the moisture begins to dissipate, add the spinach leaves and let them wilt. Turn off the heat and let the veg mix cool a bit. Taste and salt and pepper to perfection.
6. Remove the mushrooms from the marinade and shake most of the vinegar from them. Place them in the serving dish.
7. Toss the provolone cheese into the warm veg mix and make four mounds of filling for the mushrooms - stuff  and top the mushrooms with two slices of tomato per mushroom.
8. Pop the dish into the pre-heated oven and roast for 15 minutes.
9. Pull the dish long enough to top the roasted mushrooms with the Parmesan cheese and return to the oven for another five to ten minutes.  If you like a crunchy topping, run the broiler for a minute or two to crisp up the Parmesan cheese. Otherwise, remove and plate when the cheese has melted and is beginning to run  over the edges of the tomatoes.
10. Drizzle some of the mushroom/vinegar juices over top of each mushroom and serve piping hot.



  1. these are absolutely one of my most favourite ways to eat mushrooms, I love them and I love your filling too, very nice!

  2. What a lovely lovely way to eat those massive bellas! And love that you used veggies and those gorgeous tomatoes and cheese to finish them. Yumm!

    chow! Devaki @ weavethousandflavors

  3. Oh my deliciousness does that look amazing!!! I'd love to be a guest at your table!!! How nice that everything came in the back door too! Love that!


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