Saturday, June 26, 2010

Baked Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

Dedicated to Maria Malone,
Kindergarten Teacher par excellence

Serves 2

Preheat oven to 350 F.

2 Portobello mushroom

½ carrot finely chopped

2 medium thick slices purple onion finely chopped

¼ red pepper finely chopped

½ small zucchini squash finely chopped

1 slice whole wheat bread crust

½ C shelled pistachio nuts

½ tsp celery salt

¼ tsp curry powder

¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper

2-3 cardamom seeds crushed in a mortar and pestil (optional)

1/3 C extra virgin olive oil

1 – 2 TLBS water

Optional: 2 pats butter

Cut out the stem of the mushroom and any other lose pieces of mushroom. Chop into small pieces. Blanche the chopped carrot (in boiling water until tender, but still crisp). Remove water from pan. Add cold water to halt further cooking. Place mushroom pieces, carrot, purple onion, red pepper, and zucchini in a bowl. Mix together and set aside.

Using food processor grind whole wheat bread crust into fine crumbs. Add shelled pistachio nuts. Pulse food processor a few times to break up nuts. Do not grind nuts finely. They should be slightly broken into smaller pieces.

In a mortar place the shelled cardamom seeds and crush with a pestil until they are powdery fine.

Add breadcrumbs, chopped pistachios,cardamom, celery salt, curry powder and pepper to to the vegetables. Mix together. Add about 1/3 C olive oil to the mixture. If it does not pack together well, add 1-2 TBLS water until the ingredients stick together. Lightly oil the bottoms of the mushrooms with olive oil. Divide the mixture into approximate halves, depending on the sizes of the mushroom. With clean hands, pack the ingredients, forming the approximate shape and size of the mushroom. Press mixture into the underside of the mushroom. Pat mixture down so that it sticks to the mushroom and is mounded on top. Repeat with the remaining ingredients filling the second mushroom.

Optional – Add one pat of butter broken into small pieces to the top of each stuffed mushroom before baking. This adds a crunchy texture and delicious flavor.

Bake in a preheated 350 F oven for 35 – 45 minutes. Serve immediately.

©Wilma Carolyn Johnson Short


Early on in my teaching career in the 80s I attended a winter holiday party. One of my colleagues brought stuffed mushrooms – the small kind. They smelled fantastic. I thought they were going to jump off the plate and into my mouth. Once they did begin making their way to my mouth, I just could not stop eating them. I asked my friend how she made them and that was the beginning of many stuffed mushroom appetizers extravaganzas.

I like colorful food. I think the orange carrots, purple onion, green squash and red peppers for this recipe work well together in many settings, in terms of their visual appeal and their nutrition. They are also great in salads or sautéed together as a vegetable compote. I believe food that appears appetizing and colorful usually tastes delicious and is always good for you.

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