When I was still in the “just-thinking-about-maybe-at-some-point-starting-a-food-blog” phase, I really didn’t think I’d be going this far in the vegetarian direction. I think my daughter becoming a vegetarian/pescatarian has really made a great impact on all of us. We do still eat meat, but rarely. It’s surprising to find that there are so many vegetarian options that are satisfying in a way that doesn’t make you stop and think, “I’m only eating this because it’s healthy…I’d rather be eating a pork chop right now.” You know what I mean. Healthy and vegetarian can be really delicious and satisfying.
That’s where portabellas (also spelled portobellos and portobellas) come in. They are a fat, meaty, flavorful fungi and really versatile. Interestingly, they are actually large cremini mushrooms. Stuffing them this way, with the sautéed vegetables and just a bit of breadcrumbs and cheese, tastes like they can’t be good for you…but they are! It looks so cheesy, but there really is very little cheese. Between the mushroom and the vegetables, there is so much flavor, you really don’t need a lot of cheese or fat to make them taste good.
Vegetable Stuffed Portabella Mushrooms
4 large portabella mushrooms, wiped with a damp paper towel and stalk trimmed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large sweet onion, diced
2 medium zucchini, diced
1 roasted red pepper, diced
4 – 6 sun dried tomatoes, chopped
2 – 3 cloves garlic, minced
large handful of spinach
pinch of dried oregano, crushed between your fingers
dash of crushed red pepper flakes
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup dried breadcrumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1/4 cup mozzarella cheese (I use the mozzarella made with 2% milk)
Line a sided baking sheet with parchment paper. Rub each mushroom with a bit of olive oil and set them on the sheet, stalk side up.
In a 12 inch sauté pan over medium high heat, add the olive oil then the onions. Sauté for 3 or 4 minutes, then add the zucchini and continue to cook as the zucchini begins to soften. Next add the red pepper and tomatoes. Cook for another few minutes. When the onions have become translucent and soft, add the garlic. Cook for one minute and add the spinach.
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
Once the spinach wilts, remove the pan from the heat and add the rest of the ingredients, up to the Parmesan. Stir to combine.
Divide the mixture in four; I spread the mixture out evenly in the pan and using my spoon, just slice through like a pie to divide equally. Stuff each mushroom with a quarter of the mixture.
Bake in the oven for about 35 to 40 minutes. Now, top each with about 1 tablespoon of the mozzarella and continue baking for another 10 to 12 minutes, or until the cheese is just beginning to get golden on top.
- Try serving this with a big salad and a small side of pasta with olive oil or butter as a meal or as is for an appetizer.
- To keep this vegan, omit the Parmesan and mozzarella or use vegan shreds.
Oh…and just a little mushroom humor…Why was the mushroom a big hit at the party? Because he was a really fungi! :)