Stuffed Mushrooms with Goat Cheese & Herb-Roasted Tomatoes
By Lana Granfors
Photo by Kara Stewart
This recipe makes a great savory appetizer or “meatless Monday” main dish. Use the smaller cremini mushrooms for the appetizer version and portobellos (mature creminis) for the main dish version. For the recipe below, I used the larger portobellos. To prepare as an appetizer, plan on using 16-18 of the smaller creminis.
The filling – cherry tomatoes, herbs and cheese – is easy to prepare, and the roasted tomatoes make a great side dish on their own, served with fish, chicken or tossed with pasta.
INGREDIENTS FOR MUSHROOMS
4 large portobello mushrooms, about 4 inches across
3 T olive oil
1 T lemon juice
2 tsp. finely chopped shallot
1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste
4 oz. plain goat cheese
1 T fresh chopped parsley
1 T fresh chopped chives
Oven herb-roasted tomatoes (recipe follows)
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 15-20 minutes
Total Time: 20-25 minutes
INGREDIENTS FOR TOMATOES
1 lb. organic cherry or sweet baby tomatoes, halved
1 T olive oil
2-3 large garlic cloves finely, chopped
1 T fresh chopped thyme leaves (1 tsp dried)
1-2 tsp. dried Herbs de Provence (optional*)
Salt and pepper to taste
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
DIRECTIONS FOR MUSHROOMS
STEP 1: Start by preparing the oven roasted tomato recipe. See right column.
STEP 2: Once the tomatoes are roasting, prep mushrooms by gently wiping the outside of the caps with a damp paper towel to brush off any surface dirt, and then remove the stems. With the larger portobellos, you may leave the gills, but if you prefer, remove the dark brown gills. Use a spoon to remove the gills from the inside of the cap, scraping out until clean. Once clean, place them on a rimmed baking sheet.
STEP 3: Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, shallot and garlic. Brush mushroom caps inside and out with the olive oil mixture, using all the mixture. Evenly distribute the shallots. Sprinkle each cap, inside and out, with salt and pepper.
STEP 4: Pre-heat the broiler. Broil the mushrooms, using the rack, second to the top level, for 3-5 minutes, until the edges start to brown. They will start to release moisture and get juicy. Remove from the oven.
STEP 5: Change the oven temperature to 375 degrees. While preheating, fill the caps with the herb-roasted tomatoes and 4-5 dots of goat cheese. Sprinkle with the fresh herbs.
STEP 6: Bake for 12-15 minutes or until hot and the cheese has softened. If preferred, brush with a little extra olive oil on the edges to make them shine. Serve.
DIRECTIONS FOR TOMATOES
STEP 1: Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Toss halved tomatoes with oil, garlic, herbs, salt and pepper. Spread tomatoes on the baking sheet and roast for 20-25 minutes until shriveled and edges are just starting to turn a bit brown. They will keep a week in the refrigerator.
*Herbs de Provence is a classic French blend that includes herbs such as thyme, fennel, rosemary, basil, lavender and others. This is available at most markets or you can make a version of your own. I use a mortar and pestle to bring out the flavors of dried seasonings.