Friday, 29 August 2014

Stuffed Portabella Mushrooms

I know Shirley Conran said some years back “Life is too short to stuff a mushroom”, but I thought it was about time I proved her wrong. Well, I’m definitely no Superwoman and I could be about forty years too late, but better late than never.

We had these nutty, veggie stuffed mushrooms for dinner on Monday, really needing something to cheer us up; it was a Bank Holiday here and it absolutely poured with rain the entire day. I felt so sorry for all those people who had outdoor plans for their day off. Great British weather…don’t you just love it?

Having decided to make these lovely mush I hit a bit of a brick wall over what to serve them with – I ummed and ahhed about creamy mashed potato but I finally came down on the side of lemony herb couscous. Nothing new there, I’d happily eat couscous every day.

Incidentally, I always thought these mushrooms were called Portobello, but it seems they’re now called ‘Portabella’. Amazing…you learn something new every day.

1 medium red onion, peeled and diced
1 red pepper, cored and diced
olive oil
6 sun-dried tomatoes in oil, chopped
50g pine nuts
½ tsp dried oregano
1 crushed clove of garlic
125g grated mozzarella
1 thick slice wholemeal bread, blitzed into crumbs
4 large Portabella mushrooms
1 tbsp pesto

Remove the stalks from the mushrooms and chop finely; sauté the stalks together with the onion and red pepper in a tablespoon of olive oil until lightly coloured; add the sun-dried tomatoes, pine nuts, oregano and garlic and cook for another minute then scoop into a large bowl and mix in the breadcrumbs and half the cheese.

Turn the oven on to 180C.

Brush the outside of the mushrooms liberally with olive oil and smear the pesto over the insides; place on a baking tray lined with baking parchment and, using your hands, (it’s easier than a spoon - trust me!) put a quarter of the stuffing into each mushroom.

Drizzle with olive oil and bake for 25 minutes then take them out of the oven and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Return to the oven for another 10 minutes until golden.

Serves 2

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