Monday, January 3, 2011

Stuffed Mushroom Trio

What could appeal more to the intuitive cook than an easy, attractive dish with practically limitless ingredient possibilities? Stuffed mushrooms were a delectable staple dish on my Italian grandmother's holiday table. They were always meatless, and always a special treat. Her mushrooms were the small ones, stuffed with a bread crumb and herb mixture, and meant as an accompaniment to the main courses. But the giant portabello mushroom caps available everywhere offer a variety of vegetarian and vegan main dish options. We filled these three with different ingredient combinations and made sure to include a vegan option, which turned out to be our favorite.

We actually made these mushrooms a few weeks ago, but never posted them simply because we didn't measure anything. That has made it very difficult to provide much more than a general idea of quantities, which is the way I frequently cook, anyway. I do understand that lots of people really want those specific details, so we'll do our best to provide some approximations. When it comes to filling the mushroom caps, though, just approach it with a sense of abandon. I mean, how can you really go wrong?

Use approximately 1/4 cup of filling per mushroom cap. 
You will need a little white wine and some olive oil for all the fillings. 
The general procedure for preparing the mushrooms follows the ingredients lists for the mushrooms shown here.

Saute onions in olive oil until softened. Add bread crumbs, garlic and pine nuts. Saute 1-2 minutes. Add salt and pepper and Fontina and toss again. Immediately stuff mushrooms.
Bread crumbs
Pine nuts
1 oz Fontina cheese per mushroom, cubed
Parmesan cheese
Olive oil
Salt & pepper

Quickly saute a handful of spinach and some garlic in a bit of  olive oil until spinach is just wilted. Mix with remaining ingredients, stuff and bake as directed.
Olive Oil
Garlic, minced
Pine Nuts

Saute bell peppers in olive oil until softened. Do not blacken or burn. Add remaining ingredients and toss to mix well. Stuff mushroom caps. Top with a small spoonful of sauce if desired.
Olive Oil
Bell Pepper, minced
Bread crumbs
Tomato sauce

Preheat oven to 350F.
Wipe the mushrooms with a damp paper towel.
Carefully remove the stems and discard. The stems in these giant caps are generally too small and too tough to use.
Scrape out the brown "gills" if you like. They are perfectly edible, so this step is optional.
Spritz the inside of each mushroom cap with a little white wine. If you are loathe to put your wine in a spritzer bottle, then simply dribble about a teaspoon inside each cap.
Brush the outside of each mushroom with olive oil and place in a baking dish.
Fill each cap with about 1/4 cup filling.
Bake for 15 minutes, or until sizzling.


  1. looks very tasty, Enjoyed the NYE get together.

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