Caprese Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms
The last week I have been getting home much later than usual, always the way before travelling, so a quick and easy meal to knock up is always a virtue. Even more of a virtue is it’s taste and nourishment. Mushrooms contain a modest amount of fibre and over a dozen minerals and vitamins, including copper, potassium, magnesium, zinc and a number of B vitamins such as folate. In any case they taste nice and I do love mushroom/tomato combinations. A Caprese salad or Insalata Caprese is a classic salad of tomato, mozzarella and basil, hailing from Capri and like the Pizza Margherita is a simple red, white and green representing the unified Italian flag. Of course, the salad is liberally splashed with Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
The twist here is that we are using large Portobellos as a holder and we are using cherry tomatoes instead of plum San Marzano toms. And we are cooking them all together. You will thank me for it.
Find the biggest and freshest looking Portobellos available. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and mix together your finest oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Carefully remove the stump of stalk and as much of the black gills as you can with a spoon without damaging the structural integrity of the mushroom itself, setting the small pieces aside. Brush some of the oil mixture over the mushroom bases, top and bottom and place on a baking tray, popping them in the oven for about 10 minutes until they have softened. While the mushrooms are softening, mix your tomatoes and (if they are in the market) small mozzarella balls along with shredded basil leaves plus the shreds of mushroom gills and chopped stalks you have set aside. You could, if you wish also add some chopped olives. Coat the tomato mixture with your remaining seasoned oil. Take the now softened mushrooms out of the oven and fill the mushrooms with the oily, tomato, cheese and basil mixture.
Put back in the oven for a further ten to fifteen minutes and one quite tasty dish is ready. You may wish to sprinkle some extra Parmesan cheese and/or balsamic vinegar to serve.
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