Need a great starter to go with the bubbly at Christmastime? Assemble these stuffed mushrooms a few hours ahead and refrigerate them. At serving time, preheat the oven and bake them. Made with all-vegetarian ingredients, the mushrooms will be devoured in no time. Enjoy and Merry Christmas!
Prep time (stuffing): 15 minutes
Bake time: 15 to 17 minutes
Makes 12 to 14 stuffed mushrooms
One 8-ounce package white mushrooms, rinsed and patted dry with paper towels
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup finely-chopped brown or white onion
3 to 4 slices day-old Italian bread
1 large egg, beaten
3 tablespoons grated Pecorino-Romano cheese
2 to 3 tablespoons minced, fresh mint leaves
1/4 teaspoon salt
Dash ground black pepper
Directions for the Stuffing:
1. Remove stems from mushroom caps; finely chop the stems and set aside in a small bowl.
2. In a 10 or 12-inch skillet, heat the oil on high.
3. As soon as the oil is hot (it should not smoke), lower it to medium-high and stir in the chopped mushroom stems.
4. Using a wooden spoon or cooking spatula, stir-fry the chopped mushroom stems on medium-high heat for about 2 minutes.
5. After 2 minutes, add the chopped onion and stir-fry for an additional 2 minutes or until onion is translucent.
6. Transfer the mushroom-onion mixture to a bowl – set aside to cool for a few minutes.
7. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400°F.
8. Take 3 bread slices and quickly pass them under cold water; squeeze the excess water out of bread slices.
9. Discard the crusts and crumble the softened bread into a 2-cup bowl.
10. Add the beaten egg, grated cheese, minced mint leaves, salt and black pepper; stir to combine.
11. Stir in the mushroom-onion mixture. If mixture is too wet and does not amalgamate, soak the remaining bread slice (discard crusts) and crumble it into the mushroom stuffing.
12. Taste stuffing for salt level. If needed, add a tiny amount of salt.
13. Divide the stuffing onto the inverted mushroom caps.
Directions for Baking the Stuffed Mushrooms:
1. Oil a baking sheet and place the stuffed mushrooms (stuffing side up) on it.
2. Set the baking sheet with stuffed mushrooms on a rack positioned in center of oven.
3. Bake the mushrooms for 15 minutes.
4. After 15 minutes, check to see if stuffed mushrooms have turned light golden brown. If not, bake them for an additional 2 minutes. Serve stuffed mushrooms hot.
Text and Photograph ©2016 Nancy DeLucia Real