Thursday, September 24, 2009

Spinach-Stuffed Mushrooms
Spinach-Stuffed Mushroom

Believe it or not, this beautiful vegetarian/vegan-friendly* first course materialized out of a bunch of leftovers. I found myself hungry one afternoon but lacking the sufficient energy, desire, and time to create a full meal. And, I knew the ingredients in my kitchen were starting to dwindle so my options were limited.
Spinach-Stuffed Mushroom

Making something delicious of out seemingly nothing is one of my favorite cooking games. It forces me to think outside of the box, to avoid opening my cookbooks or doing any research on the Internet, and to just be creative with what I have. I have no choice but to trust my instincts and to taste as I go! I knew that I didn't want to saute the vegetables and toss with pasta -- that's why I bought the vegetables in the first place. I also knew that I wasn't in the mood for an omelette. Then it hit me! I could make up a batch of stuffed mushrooms!
Spinach-Stuffed Mushrooms

The mushrooms were flavorful and filling and looked absolutely gorgeous sitting on my very last Palm Leaf Plate from Marx Foods. To be honest, though, the stuffed mushrooms weren't sitting on that plate for long. The aroma was too much for me to ignore and I barely had time to take these pictures before I started popping them in my mouth like a ravenous fool. The recipe doesn't require any outrageous ingredients and is simple enough to throw together to serve to last-minute or unexpected guests. Plus, the mushrooms look so elegant, your guests won't be anything less than impressed by your culinary genius!

* Omit the cheese

Spinach-Stuffed Mushrooms

  • 6 large white mushrooms
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 pound fresh baby spinach, chopped
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, to taste

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Wipe the mushrooms with a damp cloth or paper towel to clean. Remove the stems.
  3. In a small bowl, toss the mushrooms caps with 1 tablespoon olive oil.
  4. Place caps cavity-side up on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.
  5. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until golden brown.
  6. Add the spinach and any liquid that accumulated in the mushrooms while baking.
  7. Add the lemon juice and panko. Gently stir until the bread crumbs are moist. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Stuff the mushroom caps with the spinach and panko mixture.
  9. Return to the oven and bake for 5 minutes or until the bread crumbs have started to brown. Remove from the oven.
  10. Top with the freshly grated Parmesan cheese just before serving.

Spinach on Foodista

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