Paula sent this recipe in, and since I love its originality, I am jumping this up the head of the queue. This recipe shows us how much we can do with a Portobello Mushroom, given the right amount of patience and imagination.
It’s like having a pizza only healthier. Facial expressions are priceless when someone tries something for the first time and gets an unexpected flavor. Evil as I am, sometimes I just can’t help but pass things off without giving my poor victims any clue. Most of the children in my family would never eat a mushroom on purpose. One night each week, my parents, sisters and their children come for dinner. When I let the children pick what we will have, I let them help prepare the meal. The little ones are just too cute getting their hands all messy and looking so proud of themselves for helping.Wikipedia tells us that Portobello Mushrooms are officially known as, "Agaricus bisporus". Call them what you will, I also have some mushroom haters in my family. But I am willing to bet they would try this dish. And keep in mind mushrooms are incredibly low in calories which is a great reason to try them in dishes if you like them!
I place all the ingredients on the table. They look at the mushrooms then at me and ask “What are these?”
I tell them they are special pizza molds made for children to cook with. Of course, my own child is used to my tricks. She will wait and see what the reaction is from others before trying it for herself. Surprisingly, there was not one complaint.
You can prepare the mushroom ahead of time and place in the oven to reheat. I cut the recipe for a smaller serving. I strongly suggest fresh ingredients for the best flavor.
- 4 Portobello Mushrooms
- 2 Red Peppers (diced)
- 1 Cup Black Olives (chopped)
- 1 Bunch Scallions (diced)
- 3 Large Tomatoes (diced)
- 2 Cloves Garlic (minced)
- Approx 1/2 – 3/4 Cup Olive Oil ( best quality you can afford)
- 1/4 Cup Balsamic Vinegar
- 1/4 Cup Fresh Basil
- 2 Tablespoons Black Pepper
- 1 Cup Parmesan Cheese (grated)
- 1 Cup Mozzarella Cheese (Shredded)
- Unsuspecting guests
- 1 Baking Sheet
- Medium pan
- Remove mushroom stems
- Scrape inside of mushroom with a spoon to clean it out - Do this with care and patience so you do not destroy the mushroom head. Finesse counts here!
- EITHER GRILL: Brush each side with oil and grill for 10 minutes on each side (If grilling mushrooms: Brush both sides with olive oil and cook on each side for 10 minutes, flipping to prevent burning.)
- OR OVEN: If using the oven, cook for 10 – 15 minutes on each side (If cooking mushrooms in the oven: Brush both sides with olive oil and cook on each side for 10 -15 minutes.)
- In medium pan, heat oil.
- Add garlic and scallions. Cook until tender (about 3-5 minutes)
- Add basil, pepper, red peppers.
- Cook over low heat for 10 minutes to allow the flavors to come together.
- Allow mixture to cool completely before letting the kiddies help.
- Divide the tomato mixture between all of the mushrooms
- Add black olives
- Drizzle with balsamic vinegar
- Top with cheeses
- Drizzle with olive oil
- Bake at 350 degrees for 15 -20 minutes
- Add toppings you like
- Leave off toppings you don’t like.
Needs some finesse in cleaning out the mushrooms and the first stage of grilling or cooking - but otherwise a great recipe, and well worth the need to concentrate. It can also be served as a great appetizer! This is one of those recipes where the imagination on what to use to stuff the mushrooms is endless. Enjoy it.