Back on Mother’s Day, I had grilled, at my brother’s house, portobello mushrooms with a Balsamic marinade based on a recipe I found at Epicurious. We loved the mushrooms, especially the crispiness that the panko added. We talked all summer about making them another time but hadn’t gotten around to trying them again.
Recently, at the farmers’ market, we decided to buy portobellos and try stuffed mushrooms again. Because we just wanted to make them at home in our apartment, I opted to try just roasting them. Despite really enjoying the Epicurious recipe, I went off-script and improvised.
I chopped up about 1/2 a red bell pepper and about a quarter of a rather large yellow squash (I would estimate that probably would have been about 1/2 a normal sized squash). I cut those fairly small. I also chopped three rather large garlic cloves.
Of course, I wanted to add some cheese. Of course, we had a few options in our fridge because we always have a few different varieties of cheese in our fridge. Holly had gotten ricotta salata for another dish and there was some leftover, so I used some of that. I was not familiar with ricotta salata until she brought some home. Ricotta salata is aged and salted ricotta and is much firmer than typical ricotta. I had no idea what would happen when I baked it.
I cleaned the mushrooms and coated them with olive oil and put them in a 425 degree oven for 10 minutes.
I cut the cheese into small rectangles about the same size as I had cut the peppers and squash. I added the cheese until there were equal amounts of peppers, squash and cheese. I coated the mixture with olive oil and stirred that with a little bit of salt, black pepper, oregano and Aleppo pepper flakes, which is a spice from Syria. Our neighborhood wine bar, Jet, uses it in a hummus dish we love, so we bought some for at home.
After the portobellos baked for 10 minutes, I removed them from the oven and distributed the vegetable and cheese mixture. I sprinkled some panko on the top and drizzled some balsamic vinegar and returned the mushrooms to the oven for another 10 minutes.
While they were in the oven, I plated some arugula and tomatoes. When the mushrooms were done, I put one stuffed mushroom on top of the salad, grated some parmesan and drizzled more olive oil.
To summarize, here are the ingredients I ended up using for the stuffed portobellos:
- 3 portobello mushrooms
- 1/2 red bell pepper
- 1/2 yellow squash
- 3 garlic cloves
- approximately 1/4 cup ricotta salata
- approximately 3 tablespoons panko
- olive oil
- salt,pepper, oregano and Aleppo pepper flakes to taste
- Balsamic vinegar
I was pleasantly surprised about how well it turned out. The timing was spot on. The portobellos were cooked but still a little firm as were the other vegetables. Baking the ricotta salata was a great addition. It remained firm and took on a flavor similar to Halloumi which worked really well with the Allepo pepper flakes and oregano.