What's with us vegetarians loving stuffed things? Stuffed squash, stuffed tomatoes, stuffed pasta shells...we love it all. I guess the thinking is why eat one delicious thing when you can stuff something else delicious in it and eat two yummy things at once, am I right? These stuffed mushrooms are the perfect example of that, because I put not one or two things in the portobellos, but three!
First comes a simple chunky tomato sauce (this recipe makes a little more than you will need for the mushrooms, because if there is something I love more than stuffed foods, it's leftovers). Next is a layer of sautéed shallots and spinach, because what vegetarian dish is complete without some greens? And I saved the best for last, because on top is a crispy panko-crusted coin of goat cheese that is absolutely to die for.
The portobello itself lends an earthy "meatiness" to the dish, complimenting the sweet tomato sauce perfectly. This dish is also easily customizable to any diet preference- leave out the cheese to make it vegan, or substitute gluten free bread crumbs to make the whole thing gluten free. Packed full of veggies, these babies will not disappoint.
Stuffed Portobello Caps with Tomato Sauce, Spinach, and Goat Cheese
- For Tomato Sauce
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 5 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 2 dried bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon dry oregano
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 (28 ounce) can chopped tomatoes
- For Sautéed Spinach
- 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 shallot, sliced thin
- 5 ounces of fresh baby spinach
- For Breadcrumb Crusted Goat Cheese
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 6 tablespoons panko bread crumbs
- 3 ounces soft goat cheese, sliced into 6 rounds
- To Assemble
- 6 large portobello mushrooms
- olive oil/cooking spray
To prepare the sauce, start by heating the olive oil in a medium sauce pan. Add the garlic cloves and let them cook over medium heat for about 30 seconds. Add the oregano and bay leaves and cook, stirring, for a minute more. Add the tomato paste and chopped tomatoes and stir, allowing the sauce to come to a simmer. Cover and simmer sauce for 30 minutes. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.
Meanwhile, sauté the spinach. Heat up the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the sliced shallot and cook until the shallot is soft. Add the baby spinach and cook until the spinach is wilted, stirring continuously. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
To make the breadcrumbs, start by melting the butter in a small microwavable bowl. Stir in the panko breadcrumbs, add a pinch of salt and pepper, and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Trim the portobello mushrooms by cutting off the stems. In a large sauté pan, heat up a small amount of olive oil or cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add the portobello mushrooms and cook for about 3-4 minutes on each side, until they are soft and cooked through. Take the mushrooms off the heat and place them on a layer of paper towels. Use paper towels to press each mushroom, removing any excess moisture. Transfer your mushrooms gill side up onto your foil baking sheet.
Top the mushrooms with a large spoon full of tomato sauce (remember, you will probably have leftovers). Distribute the spinach evenly on top of the tomato sauce. Take a goat cheese round, dip it in the bread crumb mixture and gently toss it around until all sides are coated. Place this on top of the spinach. Repeat for all six goat cheese coins, then sprinkle the remaining bread crumbs over the stuffed mushrooms.
Bake for 10-15 minutes, until goat cheese is starting to soften and bread crumbs have browned.
adapted from blogging over thyme