I like to try new things when I cook, so I tend to use recipes more as a guide than a rulebook. I figured I’d start documenting dishes that are more original, or that I really like.
These stuffed portabella (or portobello, depending on their gender) mushrooms were inspired by a recipe for zucchini-feta casserole from one of the Moosewood cookbooks. The stuffing primarily consists of bulgur, a hearty middle eastern preparation of whole wheat.
Since this isn’t a perfected recipe, I figured it would work better as a set of notes rather than the conventional ingredients-then-steps format.
Soak the bulgur in boiling water, about 2-1 water to grain. Let sit at least 30 minutes, longer is better. It will get a little softer when it’s added to the stuffing, but you don’t want it crunchy at this point.
Saute some onion and garlic.
If your portabellas have stems, cut ‘em off and chop them up. Dice some zucchini. Add these veggies to the pan, and throw in some fresh ground pepper and dried herbs. I used parsley, basil, and oregano. Don’t be shy, the herbs will be responsible for a lot of the flavor of the dish.
When the zucchini starts to get soft, add a little tomato sauce. At least enough to coat everything, but it shouldn’t be soupy. I also threw in a few cut up grape tomatoes I had lying around
Drain off any water remaining in the bulgur, and mix it into the veggies. Did I mention you should probably be doing this in a pot or deep skillet? Add more tomato sauce if you think it’s needed.
As the stuffing is cooking, grill the mushroom tops in a lightly oiled pan. Put them in right side up at first, then add the filling after you flip them.
Sprinkle the filled mushrooms with grated feta and cover the pan for a few minutes to let the cheese melt. You can top them with more black pepper right before serving.
I think they came out quite well for a first attempt, but here are some changes I’d make next time or things I’d like to try:
The only salt in the dish comes from the tomato sauce and feta cheese. I was surprised that it didn’t come out bland, but more salt could be added to the stuffing. I would probably also salt the mushrooms themselves as they’re grilling.
Other veggies to try: spinach, eggplant, red peppers.
If you are put off by the brown whole grain vegetarian healthy look, use more veggies or even omit the bulgur altogether. Then you’re basically making a ratatouille as the filling.
Mix the feta with ricotta or cottage cheese for a creamier cheese component, and put it in the mushroom before the vegetable mixture, for a gooey cheese filling.