I ate a poisonous mushroom once.
My free-spirited self wandered out into the backyard and just went for it. I was three. I don’t actually remember this but my mom does. According to her, I ate a lot of unauthorized things. I would even snack off other peoples’ picnic blankets at the beach. Restaurants were a nightmare. Oh, and you know those red snot berries that grow on pine trees? (I’m not a botanist- I apologize for the poor reference…). I wanted them SO badly for my witch’s brew in my imaginary cauldron with mud and sticks. You see? I was always into food. Life at three years old was one big communal table.
It still is.
These portobellos are mushrooms you can eat.
I like them stuffed whole and baked with caramelized root vegetables and goat cheese.
Start out by roasting your butternut squash with a touch of brown sugar and fennel seeds. The sugar makes them slightly sweet while the fennel adds an Italian flare. Then brush the inside of each mushroom cap with olive oil, garlic and fresh herbs. Fill with roasted squash, tangy sun-dried tomatoes, Panko breadcrumbs (go crunch!) and cheese. Bake until warm and golden.
And here’s a thought: what if we went mini? How about baby bellas stuffed with the same mixture and served family style for a meat-free appetizer.
Serve these mushrooms for dinner or as a light lunch with baby kale and a generous drizzle of balsamic glaze. The glaze is so good. My husband, who lovingly announced that he hates mushrooms just so happened to eat two of them…with the kale. Imagine that.
- Because mushrooms are made up of mostly water, do not soak them clean. They’re like sponges. Brush with a paper towel to remove any dirt and grit.
- The best way to store portobello mushrooms is in a brown paper bag. Plastic packaging traps in moisture and can make them go bad quickly.
- 2 c. butternut squash, cubed
- 1 tsp. olive oil
- 1 tsp. brown sugar
- 1 tsp. fennel seeds
- 4 portobello mushroom caps, stems removed
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 2 sprigs or oregano or thyme, leaves stripped and roughly chopped
- ¼ c. sun-dried tomatoes in oil, roughly chopped
- ¼ c. Panko breadcrumbs
- ¼ c. goat cheese, crumbled
- 4 handfuls of baby kale or arugula
- juice of ½ lemon
- 1 tsp. olive oil
- ¼ c. shaved parmesan cheese
- balsamic glaze
- Preheat the oven to 425 F.
- In a large bowl, add the butternut squash, olive oil, brown sugar and fennel seeds. Season with salt and pepper. Toss well to combine. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet and roast for about 15-20 minutes, or until golden. Set aside.
- Reduce the oven to 375 F for the mushrooms.
- For the mushrooms, combine the minced garlic, olive oil and chopped herbs. Brush the inside of each mushroom cap with the mixture.
- For the filling, combine the sun-dried tomatoes and breadcrumbs. Mix well.
- To assemble, fill each mushroom with the roasted butternut squash (you will have extra- just eat it) and top with sun-dried tomatoes and breadcrumbs. Dollop with goat cheese. Place the mushrooms into a parchment lined baking tray.
- Bake until the mushrooms are tender and the tops are golden brown, about 10-15 minutes.
- To serve, dress the baby kale with lemon and olive oil. Transfer the greens to a platter and arrange the stuffed mushrooms on top. Garnish with shaved parmesan cheese and a drizzle of balsamic glaze.