EDISON, NJ - I mess around in the kitchen an awful lot. Usually, I look at what we have in the refrigerator and try to come up with dishes that use what we have rather than buying specific ingredients for specific recipes. Sometimes, that approach works great and sometimes it’s a train wreck. This is one of those experiments and, luckily, is one of my favorites as it turns out great time and time again. I’ve made this basic dish a number of different ways with lots of different ingredients. This is a flexible dish in that you can use whatever vegetables you prefer or have on hand. You can also serve this in a variety of ways from an appetizer to side dish to a main course. Portobello mushrooms vary greatly in size, so depending on the size of the mushrooms and your game plan for the rest of the meal, you can certainly use this flexibility to your advantage by simply inserting it into whichever slot fits best for you that day.
For this specific dish, I used Tuscan kale, Portobello mushrooms, tomatoes, and fresh garlic that I found at the Summit farmer’s market. I lightly cooked the garlic and tomatoes, wilted the kale, and added some fresh breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, and homemade garlic mayonnaise to combine. Combine all the ingredients and roast until golden and you are there. If you want to lighten the dish a bit you could certainly substitute a bit of Dijon mustard and a drizzle of olive oil to bind everything in lieu of the mayonnaise. Also, if you don’t have homemade breadcrumbs, just skip the using them entirely. Store bought breadcrumbs will have the wrong texture. Really, as long as you use fresh vegetables that are in season, you can’t go wrong with this dish regardless of the direction you decide to go!
4 Portobello mushrooms
1 Bunch Tuscan kale
5 Cloves fresh garlic
1 Tomato, chopped
4 T Fresh breadcrumbs plus more if necessary
2 T freshly grated parmesan cheese
2 Egg yolks
1 T Dijon mustard
1 Cup grapeseed oil
Olive Oil for drizzling
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
For the Mayonnaise:
- Place 2 egg yolks in a food processor. Add one clove of garlic and pulse to combine. Add one tablespoon of Dijon mustard and pulse again.
- While the processor is fully turned on, slowly add the grapeseed oil. At first, you want to just add oil drop by drop, stopping often to allow the emulsion to begin. Then slowly drizzle the oil until oil is fully incorporated, stopping off and on during process to allow the mayonnaise to develop.
- Place mayonnaise in an airtight container and chill in the refrigerator. Mayonnaise will last about a week or so in the refrigerator.
For the Mushrooms:
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Drizzle a bit of olive oil over the mushrooms, coating both sides. Sprinkle a bit of salt over the top of the mushrooms and place in the oven.
- Roast mushrooms for approximately 25 minutes (roasting time will vary pretty widely as they greatly vary in size).
- Once roasted and golden, remove from oven and set aside.
- Thinly slice four garlic cloves.
- Remove ribs from the kale and coarsely chop
- Coarsely chop the tomato
- Place a heavy bottomed pan on medium low heat. Drizzle some olive oil into the pan and place garlic in pan. Cook for a couple minutes and add tomato. Turn heat to low and cook another five minutes. Place in bowl and set aside.
- Wipe pan out and place a bit more olive oil in pan. Turn heat to medium. Add chopped kale to pan and allow to sit for a minute or so. Add a bit of water to pan and allow kale to cook down and wilt, about two minutes.
- Remove kale from pan and place in bowl.
- Combine the kale, garlic, and tomato and mix. Add ¼ cup of mayonnaise. Mix completely.
- Add several tablespoons of fresh breadcrumbs. Add salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning and breadcrumbs as needed to suit your taste.
- Divide the kale mixture among the mushrooms and pile filling high. Add a pinch of parmesan cheese over the top of each mushroom. Drizzle each with a bit of olive oil.
- Roast stuffed mushrooms in preheated 375 degree oven for 20 minutes or until the mushrooms and topping look slightly browned.
Serve while hot.