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Photo by: Joseph De Leo
My family loves meat, but I make it a point regularly to tempt them with tasty vegetarian meals. Portobello mushrooms, with their hefty size and meaty texture, are nearly as satisfying as a tender beef fillet, especially when the mushrooms are stuffed with spinach, cheese, fennel, and fresh tarragon and parsley. As an added bonus, the flavor-packed stuffing also includes shiitake mushrooms, which enhance the portobellos’ earthy taste. If your guest list includes a vegan—a strict vegetarian who avoids dairy products—substitute bread crumbs for the cheese, adding just enough to lightly bind the stuffing. I like to serve these healthy mushrooms for lunch with sliced heirloom tomatoes over baby arugula to brighten up the plate.
1. Wipe the portobello mushroom caps clean with a damp paper towel. Using a small paring knife or teaspoon, remove the gills to create a shallow depression for the stuffing. Place the portobellos on a lightly oiled baking dish and set aside.
2. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 400°F.
3. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the shallots and fennel and cook until soft, 8 to 10 minutes.
4. Add the garlic and shiitake mushrooms and cook until the moisture has evaporated, about 10 minutes. Stir in the spinach and cook until it wilts, about 5 minutes, working in batches, if necessary.
5. Add the parsley, tarragon, and ½ cup of the Parmesan cheese and stir to combine. Cook until the cheese melts, about 1 minute. Season the filling with salt and pepper to taste.
6. Spoon the filling into the portobellos, mounding it slightly. Sprinkle 3 tablespoons of the remaining Parmesan cheese over each mushroom. (The mushrooms can be prepared up to this stage 4 hours ahead. Refrigerate them, covered until ready to bake.)
7. Bake the mushrooms until they are tender but not soggy and the cheese on top has browned, 20 to 25 minutes. Serve immediately.
Nutrients per serving (% daily value)
Nutritional information is based on 1/8 teaspoon added salt per serving.