I love mushrooms. Love them. But when it comes to portabella mushrooms—especially those that top out at 6 inches across—I find eating them a bit daunting. I’ve eaten too many portabella sandwiches at restaurants where the mushroom released so much liquid that it diluted the taste of all of the other ingredients and left the bread mushy and falling apart in my hand. It actually got to the point that if I went out to eat and the only vegetarian option was a portabella sandwich, I’d groan and make do with salad and potatoes instead.
However, I wanted to make peace with portabella mushrooms. I thought I’d remove most of the bread and stuff them instead. Since they were going to be a main dish, I also wanted the stuffing to be satisfying—and the combination of roasted artichokes and potatoes is different and delicious. I also use portabella mushrooms on the smaller size (my supermarket sells them as “porteenies”) and I increase the oven temperature to evaporate some of the liquid.
I can finally say that I love portabella mushrooms. I hope you do, too!
4 portabella mushrooms, 3 – 4” in diameter, cleaned and dried, stems reserved
¼ cup red wine
Zest of one lemon
2 TBS lemon juice
1 clove of garlic, peeled and minced
Salt & pepper to taste
2 small potatoes, cut into small dice, patted dry
4 artichoke hearts, frozen, thawed & drained OR canned (in water not brine), rinsed & drained, and cut into small dice, patted dry
1 small onion, peeled and cut into small dice
1 TBS olive oil
¼ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp paprika
½ tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
1 egg, beaten
¼ cup panko bread crumbs
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 - 2 TBS milk
1 TBS reserved marinade
Fresh cracked black pepper
Chopped green onions or chives for garnish, optional
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Whisk together the red wine, zest, lemon juice, and garlic. Place the mushrooms in a shallow dish. Pour the marinade evenly over the mushrooms and rub both sides of them with the marinade. Marinate the mushrooms stem side up. Set aside for 15 minutes.
Remove the mushrooms from the marinade and gently blot the excess marinade with a paper towel. Reserve the marinade and set aside. Place the mushrooms stem side up onto a sheet pan. Sprinkle each with a pinch of salt and pepper and set aside.
While the mushrooms are marinating, chop the reserved mushroom stems into small dice. Mix the mushroom stems, potatoes, artichoke hearts, and onion with the olive oil, garlic powder, paprika, salt, and pepper. Place the vegetables in one layer on a sheet pan. Roast for 20 - 25 minutes or until the vegetables are golden brown and fork-tender but not mushy.
Remove the pan from the oven and set aside to cool for 5 minutes.
Place the roasted vegetables into a mixing bowl. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper if necessary. Gently stir in the beaten egg and panko bread crumbs. You should be able to lightly compact the stuffing with your hands. Divide the mixture evenly and fill the marinated mushroom caps.
In a small bowl, using a fork or whisk, mix the feta cheese, milk, and reserved marinade until well combined. Divide the cheese evenly over the stuffed mushrooms. Add a few grinds of fresh cracked black pepper on top of the cheese. Lightly drizzle each mushroom with olive oil.
Place the pan of stuffed mushrooms into the oven. Bake for 15 minutes. At this point, the mushrooms will be releasing their juices. Raise the temperature to 425 degrees. Bake for an additional 10 – 15 minutes or until the cheese is lightly browned.
Garnish with green onions or chives and serve immediately.
Don’t Freak Out!
1) Substitute 1 cup of frozen cube-style hash browns for the potatoes. Thaw and pat dry the hash brown potatoes and then follow the recipe as written.
2) I use yellow potatoes in this recipe. I’ve also made it with purple potatoes which are more floury and give the stuffing a different taste. Use whatever potatoes you like and if you don’t like the skins on your potatoes, peel them.
3) Make it an appetizer. Substitute an 8 oz. package of cremini or button mushrooms for the Portabella mushrooms and follow the recipe as written.
4) If you use brined feta cheese, you’ll need to add less milk to thin the cheese out. You could also substitute cream cheese or mascarpone for the feta. Or, you can omit the milk and marinade and simply top these with your favorite shredded cheese; just add the black pepper, drizzle with olive oil, and bake according to the directions.
5) Make it vegan. Omit the egg and substitute a splash of vegetable stock. You may need to add a bit more panko bread crumbs so everything binds well. Omit the milk and substitute vegan feta or your favorite vegan shreds for the for the feta cheese. You could also top the mushrooms with vegan mayonnaise; omit the milk and reduce the amount of reserved marinade to 1 teaspoon.
6) Make it gluten-free. Wine is typically gluten-free but sometimes the casks of wine are sealed in wheat paste which can leak into the wine itself—which can be harmful for people with Celiac disease. Read the labels. Substitute gluten-free bread crumbs or cracker crumbs for the panko.
7) If you do want to use the gigantic portabella mushrooms, roast another small potato, 2 more artichoke hearts, and an additional 1/4 cup of chopped onion with a pinch more of the spices, salt, and pepper and an extra drizzle of the olive oil. Add 1 or 2 more tablespoons of panko.
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