Portobello Mushrooms. Stuffed.

[Glorious Food and Wine is currently touring Alicante. In the meantime an autumnal recipe initially published here in September 2006.]

Yesterday afternoon I made an interesting discovery. If I don’t rush in and out of my local green grocer, there is an entire world of vegetables out there. Yesterday I took my time. I decide to pretend I am there visiting, not buying, discovering the gifts of autumn.

A rarity in the current consumer world, my green grocer is quite seasonal. He takes pride in his vegetables and likes to show off the best autumn has to offer. Gorgeous ripe plums. Inviting juicy berries, blue and red, waiting to be used in pies, crumbles, puddings. Lush figs, fragrant and so inviting you can’t stop yourself from touching them (or is this only happening to me?). Apples, mushrooms, oh the gorgeous pumpkins a harmony in orange, … and I could go on and on. I also discovered unusual hidden gems, like mini pickles apples (I wonder what they are good for?), all kind of sauces and jams ready to be used with autumn’s lamb or partridge. If I would only have this much time on my hands every day…

I left the green grocer with two huge Portobello mushrooms. Portobello mushrooms are nature’s space ships. Dark, flat, big mushrooms ready to be used in so many ways. They might be amongst the most versatile mushrooms, good for roasting, barbequing (never tried that!), stuffed or baked. I opted for the stuffed version. As with most stuffed vegetables (eggplants, zucchini, bell peppers), the stuffing is a matter of taste. I like vegetables stuffed with minced meat, vegetables or just plain cheese and more cheese. Endless choices.

My stuffed Portobello mushrooms were such a pleasant dinner surprise! During the week I rarely have the time to be adventurous. And perhaps that’s something which needs to change.

Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms
2 large, flat Portobello mushrooms
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, crushed
50gr chorizo (or cheese)
vegetable mix (sliced mushrooms, cubed peppers)
chopped herbs
olive oil, salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to gas mark 6 (200C/400F). Wipe the mushrooms and remove the stalks, season with salt and ground black pepper. Place in a roasting tin and drizzle with olive oil. Bake for 15min to 20min, till soft.
Heat some olive oil in a pan and fry the chorizo, add onion and garlic, cook till soften. Add the vegetable mix and cook for about 10min. Season and add the chopped herbs.
Divide the vegetable mixture between the two Portobello mushrooms, and place back in the oven for a couple of minutes. Depending on taste you can add some grated cheese on top of the mixture.
Serve as a side dish (leaving the chorizo out), or with fresh salad.
(recipe adapted from BBC Food)

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