Here is a meatless main dish rich in antioxidants for better health: portobello mushroom caps are stuffed with a lemony spring greens pesto that you make in moments in a food processor or blender.
The nutrition is top-notch, and you can make it with cheese or do a vegan version without. Either way, these stuffed mushrooms are tasty, simple enough to make for everyday, but so pretty you may want to serve them on special occasions.
8 large Portobello mushroom caps
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt to taste
2 cups fresh spinach, coarsely chopped, tightly packed
1/2 cup fresh Italian parsley, tightly packed
1/4 cup fresh basil
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1/4 cup pine nuts
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil
2/3 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
salt and freshly-ground pepper to taste
1/3 cup coarsely-grated Romano or Parmesan cheese (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 450F with one rack in the top position, and one on the bottom. Line 2 shallow roasting pans with aluminum foil.
2. Remove stems from mushroom caps, and chop coarsely. Place mushroom caps gill-side up in prepared pans and brush tops with olive oil, then sprinkle with salt.
3. In a food processor or blender, combine the mushroom stems, spinach, parsley, basil, garlic, lemon zest, pine nuts, and vinegar, pulsing until the mixture is a uniform paste. Then, with the motor running, add the olive oil in a stream until mixture is fairly smooth.
4. Add the seasoned breadcrumbs and salt and pepper to taste and pulse to combine. Divide this filling evenly and mound onto each mushroom cap. Bake in preheated oven on the rack in the top slot for 5 minutes. Then place baking pans on the bottom rack and continue roasting until mushrooms are tender, about 10 more minutes.
5. Remove mushrooms from oven and sprinkle with cheese. May be served warm or room temperature.
Inspired by a recipe in “Vegetarian Times Magazine.”
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