Sometimes, when I think about my partner, I can’t help but think of fungus.
No, I’m not talking about his feet! I’m talking about the stuffed mushroom appetizer he is famous (or infamous) for.
It happened last October. He came home with a box of baby portobellos from Trader Joe’s, talking about the most wonderful stuffed mushrooms he was going to make. He’s an excellent cook, so I was looking forward to this. (Well, actually, I was looking forward to not cooking.)
Here’s how it went down …
He told me HOW to make the mushrooms. “Mince the stems, saute them in onions and garlic and spinach and tomato, use some herbs … and I’ll take it from there.”
So I sliced, I diced, I sauteed.
He did indeed mosey into the kitchen later to fill the mushroom caps and place them in the oven.
And that is the story of how “he” made stuffed mushrooms.
Not that I’m discounting his contributions. Placing the mushrooms in the oven is a very important step in this recipe!
Anyhoo, the mushrooms were indeed delicious, as well as vegan and gluten-free. They make a wonderful appetizer for pasta dishes.
Fabulous Fungi Ingredients:
1 Box Button or Cremini Mushrooms (about 10-12 oz.)
1 TBL Olive Oil
2 Large Cloves Garlic or 3 Small/Medium Cloves, minced or pressed
1/2 small Onion, diced (about 1/4 cup)
1 Roma Tomato, diced
1 Teaspoon Italian Seasoning Blend
1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt, or to taste
1/2 Cup Frozen Chopped Spinach (approx.) defrosted in microwave
Splash White Wine or Squeeze Lemon Juice
Vegan Parmesan Cheese (optional)
Directions for Fabulous Fungi:
Find someone gullible to cook this recipe for you.
Preheat oven to 350 and spray a baking pan or casserole dish with cooking spray.
Clean the mushrooms under running water. (It’s a myth you should just “wipe clean with a dry paper towel” – those babies have a lot of dirt!) Pop out the stems, clean, and set aside on cutting board. Place the mushroom caps in the baking dish.
Chop the ends of the stems off if they are too “woody.” Then dice the rest of the stems.
Add about a tablespoon of olive oil to a skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and onion. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add mushroom stems. Cook for another 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep from burning.
Add the diced Roma tomato, salt, and Italian seasoning blend. Stir gently. Add the defrosted spinach. Add a splash of white wine (no more than a tablespoon) or a squeeze of lemon juice (start with a teaspoon). Cook for another few minutes, stirring occasionally, until the spinach is hot. Do not cook so long the tomatoes start disintegrating into a paste.
Spoon the mixture into the mushroom caps.
Place the mushrooms in the oven (very important step!)
Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.
Sprinkle with vegan parmesan cheeese, if desired.
It’s hard to measure frozen spinach exactly, so just do the best you can. A little more or less won’t hurt. Likewise, if your half of a small onion yields a little more than 1/4 cup, that’s fine, too.
Italian Spice Blend usually contains marjoram, thyme, basil, rosemary, savory, and oregano. It’s a very useful blend to have on hand when you’re making something quick like these mushrooms, or just experimenting in the kitchen. Try a little to punch up jarred spaghetti sauce or canned tomato soup.