There’s nothing like a vegetarian dish that satisfies the need for veggies and also the most ardent carnivores. These mushrooms are as good as steak and have all the flavours of a bistro steak dinner: blue cheesy goodness, meaty portabella mushrooms, wilted spinach and a tangy balsamic glaze. You’ll completely forget that you aren’t eating any meat. The best thing about this recipe is that it’s easy enough to make on a weeknight and elegant enough for company. Serve these to a vegetarian and they’ll never feel like a second class citizen. Enjoy with a nice, robust red wine – Sham Style!
4 large portabella mushrooms
½ a French Stick (roughly 2 cups chopped)
1 cup vegetable stock
2/3 cup blue cheese (I used Bleu D’Avernge but you could use any creamy blue)
1 tsp fresh Thyme
1 tablespoon fresh chives
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 tsp olive oil (for shallots)
1 tbsp olive oil (for mushrooms)
1 cup vegetable stock
½ cup balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp butter
1 container of fresh baby spinach
1 tbsp olive oil
½ tsp sea salt
Pre-heat oven to 370 degrees. Cut the French stick into small crouton sized chunks. Add thyme and chives. Add 1 cup vegetable stock and toss the bread croutons with the herbs and stock. Finely chop the shallot. Heat a tsp of oil in a small pan and sauté the shallot until it is translucent. Add the shallot to the bread crumb mixture and mix thoroughly. Add crumbled blue cheese to the bread mixture.
Wash the portabella mushrooms and gently dry with a paper towel. Next you want to remove the gills from the portabella mushrooms. The gills will stain your stuffing if they are not removed. To remove the gills, use a small, slim very sharp knife. Turn the mushroom upside-down. From the centre of the mushroom, slide the knife under the gills and run the mushroom as you continue to slide the knife under the gills. Once you have gone around the circumference of the mushroom, more your knife out to the outer edge of the mushroom and score the outer rim of the mushroom. You should be able to simply remove the gills with your fingers.
Rub the mushrooms with olive oil and season with salt and pepper and place in a roasting pan. Stuff the mushrooms with the bread mixture. And place the roasting dish in the pre-heated oven for 20-25 minutes. Bread crumps should be golden when ready.
In a small pot simmer the vegetable stock until reduced by half. Add the balsamic vinegar and reduce the heat to low. Cook until the vinegar mixture starts to become syrupy. Add butter and remove from heat. Allow to cool slightly and pour the glaze into a squeeze bottle.
3 minutes before the mushrooms are ready, heat olive oil in a large frying pan. Gently wilt the spinach and season with sea salt.
Place the spinach on the plate in a circle slightly larger than the mushroom. Remove the mushrooms from the oven and place on the spinach. Sprinkle balsamic glaze around the plate and over the mushrooms and spinach.
Serve with a nice red wine.
Written on my Microsoft Surface RT with purple backlit keyboard
All pictures taken with my Nokia Lumia 1020 Camera Phone