Shirley Conran famously said in her book ‘Superwoman’ that ‘life’s too short to stuff a mushroom’. She was talking about getting your priorities straight if you wanted to have it all in modern life. That was 1975, and some of her advice still holds true.. this however isn’t the post for that debate.
As a cooking priority, I have to say, that this recipe IS high on my list, it not only is delicious, but, as a vegetarian, mushrooms are wonderfully rich in essential nutrients such as Vitamin D, potassium & iron.
I know this recipe is truly a winner, because after I cooked it the first time for The Gardener, a new pack of portobello mushrooms appeared next time he went shopping, with the words ‘I thought you might like to make that mushroom thing again’
This recipe can be adapted quite easily with different flavours, or to be completely vegan, by omitting the cheese & perhaps adding in some more herbs or vegan cheese.
This makes 2, scale up the filling for more people.
- 2 large flat portobello mushrooms
- 1 small onion, chopped finely
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- half a small bell pepper , chopped very finely(or one of my tiny ones from our greenhouse)
- a small chili- de-seeded & finely chopped OR chilli powder- whatever you have around.
- half cup breadcrumbs (I always have a pack of Japanese Panko breadcrumbs in the house- they are the nicest I think of pre-made breadcrumbs)
- 1 tsp thyme or other herbs- parsley, oregano or basil
- 1 Tbs olive oil [plus some more to slick over the outside of the mushrooms)
- a tiny glug white wine
- 50g of cheese- grated (parmesan, chedder or feta all work well)
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Soften the onion & garlic in the olive oil in a frying pan.
- Add the bell pepper, chilli & herbs & cook for a few more minutes.
- Add the white wine if using & cook down a bit.
- Transfer this mixture into a bowl, & add the breadcrumbs, cheese & salt & pepper
- Slick the outside of the mushrooms with a little olive oil. This prevents them drying out in the oven.
- Pack the mushrooms, cup side up, with the stuffing.
- Bake in for around 15 mins on Gas Mark 7 / 220C
- These are done when the top looks a bit crunchy & golden & the mushroom is a bit softly shrivelled.
- Serve with a green salad or sauteed greens.