This is another one that my friend Janet should remember well. Many years ago Mr GP and I shared a house with Janet and her husband. We were all vegetarians at the time, and our cooking bibles were the vegetarian Moosewood cookbooks Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home and Moosewood Restaurant Low-Fat Favourites.
Most of the dishes we made regularly were simple stews, pastas or bean dishes, but sometimes we made the slightly more ‘fancy’ dishes, and this was a variation on one of them.
I think when a lot of people think of stuffed mushrooms, they think of some sort of fiddly, twee little h’ors d’oevre. This is absolutely not one of those dishes. Apart from anything else it’s hearty enough to use up about 1/3 of a huge tromboncino!
In this dish, big juicy Portobello mushrooms are stuffed with rice and quinoa combined with sautéed zucchini and spinach flavoured with dill and garlic, and then baked on a base of tomato puree that forms the sauce you serve them with. We have always eaten these straight away, but you could certainly do this mostly in advance with a filling prepared the day before, and the mushrooms stuffed and put in the dish earlier in the day for a final baking that night.
Zucchini and rice stuffed mushrooms
Adapted from a stuffed zucchini recipe in Moosewood Restaurant Low-Fat Favourites
- 4 large Portobello mushrooms
- 6 button mushrooms (optional)
- 3 small or two medium zucchini (or a chunk of tromboncino about twice as big as the peeled chunk above)
- 1 large onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 2 Tbs olive oil
- 1 tsp dried dill
- 1 Tbs dry sherry (use white wine if you don’t have sherry)
- 2 tsp tamari (wheat free soy sauce)
- 125g spinach (frozen, baby or normal leaf are all fine)
- 1 cup cooked brown rice, or a mixture of quinoa and rice, or a similar grain
- salt and pepper to taste
- 250ml tomato puree
- approximately 100g fontina cheese, grated
Remove the stalks from the large mushrooms and chop finely along with the button mushrooms if using (I like mushrooms so I use lots). Chop the onion finely and crush or chop the garlic. Heat the oil, and sauté the onion, garlic and salt until the onion begins softening. Add the grated zucchini and chopped mushroom, and cook for another couple of minutes. Add the dill, sherry, soy sauce and spinach and cook until the spinach is wilted, and mushrooms are cooked. Remove from the heat and cook slightly.
Preheat oven to 180C. Stir the rice and about half of the cheese into the sautéed mixture and season with salt and pepper. Pour the tomato puree into a 20x30cm baking dish. Fill each mushroom with the mixture, pressing it in firmly and mounding slightly. Arrange the mushrooms in the tomato puree. Sprinkle with the remainder of the cheese.
Cover the dish with greased foil and bake the mushrooms for about 30 minutes until the mushrooms are tender (use a thin knife to test through to the base of the mushroom where it’s thickest) and the cheese is golden brown. If the cheese isn’t brown enough, remove the foil and bake for a little longer.
Serves 4 if served with a side dish