Sara Moulton's Giant Stuffed Mushrooms
For Your Vegetarian Holiday Feast
When I was growing up one of the more exotic items in my mom's culinary repertoire was stuffed mushrooms. She would make them with plain old cultivated mushrooms which were considered very elegant at the time and stuff them simply with chopped up mushrooms, onions and breadcrumbs. She usually served them as a side dish which seemed a little over the top to me. They were substantial which is why I thought to do a large version, using portobellos, here in the vegetarian chapter. Portobello mushrooms are one of the meatiest mushrooms with a great taste as well. I used three of my mom's ingredients for the stuffing -- onion, mushroom and bread -- and then added some green beans, pesto and cheese. You can use bought pesto if you want to speed up the process but this is a pretty quick recipe anyway.
Discard a thin slice from the root end of the mushroom stems; chop the remaining stems. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over high heat until hot; reduce the heat to medium, add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the mushroom stems and green beans and cook, stirring occasionally, until both are just tender, about 8 minutes. Transfer the bean mixture to a small bowl; reserve the skillet. Stir the pesto, English muffin, and salt and pepper to taste into the bean mixture.
Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in the same skillet until hot. Reduce the heat to medium and add the mushroom caps, open side down. Cook, covered 5 minutes. Turn caps over and divide bean mixture into them. Cook covered 5 minutes. Top each mushroom with a slice of cheese, remove from heat, and set aside, covered, just until the cheese melts, about 1 minute. Serve immediately.
Combine parsley, walnuts, cheese, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the chopping blade. Process until finely chopped. With the processor running, gradually drizzle in the oil. Taste and add salt and pepper, if necessary.
Makes 1 1/4 cups
More Info: Vegetarian