I was headed to a luncheon potluck, and needed something to bring… Okay, I just adore mushrooms, let’s stuff ’em!!
Crab meat might have been my first choice, but one attendee (there would only be five of us) cannot stand the idea of seafood in any shape or form. So… scratched my noodle, and decided on using eggplant as a base. This recipe is vegetarian but not vegan.
This stuffing mix provided enough stuffing to stuff 12 mushrooms, with plenty left over for at least two or three more. (Mushrooms were portobellas, about an 1.5 in diameter, and were labeled for stuffing.) At any rate, I did not have the time to take photos through the process, alas.
1 large eggplant (or the equivalent volume of small Asian eggplants)
12 or so portobella mushrooms, large enough to stuff but not platter-sized. De-stemmed.
2 large shallots
2 large cloves garlic
1 four or five inch segment of a heart of palm
1.5 tablespoons capers
1 medium egg
Parmesean cheese, grated. At Least 1/4 cup but likely more.
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon savory
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1.5 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
salt and ground pepper
Preheat oven to 450 F.
Peel and slice your eggplant into quarter inch segments. (If you are using the Asian ones, peeling is not necessary. Soak the eggplant in salt water for 20 minutes. In the case of the regular ones, this draws out the bitterness, and in any case, this helps keep them from browning up too badly.
Wrap these guys in foil (cutting them up further if needed) with about a tablespoon of olive oil, the oregano, the garlic (diced), and the savory and some of the ground pepper. Mash around with your hands and then let them lie maybe two or three thicknesses thick so they cook faster. Place in the above oven. Roast 40-45 minutes.
While that’s cooking, prep your mushrooms. Wash them and oil them with a little olive oil, both inside and out, wiping down with paper towels, and being sure the outer rim is covered.
Chop up your heart of palm, rough dice. Rinse the capers.
Slice the shallots and get them translucent and lightly carmelized in a small amount of olive oil.
The eggplant is done. Put that entire mixture into a mixing bowl and use an immersion blender to mix that all up together, along with the Parmesean cheese and egg and nutmeg. I didn’t make this super smooth but the idea was to mix it up enough that one could use the eggplant for stuffing.
Put everything (except the mushrooms) back into the skillet, heat and mix around until sufficiently mixed (on very low heat). Taste and add seasonings as inspired (the egg in this case came from a real farm with real chickens, btw. No factory eggs here!)
Stuff the mushroom caps.
I left nearly immediately for our gathering, but if you need to, refrigerate before final prep.
In the final prep, preheat oven to 350-375 F, and cook the mushrooms for a good 20-30 minutes depending on your oven temp and on if they were fully chilled back down.
Oh, and yes…
The leftover stuffing would be quite nice warmed up just a little and used as a dip for celery sticks….