By Ellie Krieger
THESE two-bite stuffed mushrooms are so enticing and will be devoured so quickly when passed around at a gathering, they will shatter any notions that vegetables can't be buzzworthy party fare. While healthfully produce-driven, they are in a different class entirely from a yawn-inducing cut vegetable platter.
For these, shallot (or onion) and heaps of fresh spinach are sautéed until tender, then stirred with mouthwatering bits of sundried tomatoes and just enough creamy, garlic-and-herb Gournay cheese (such as Boursin) to allow the ingredients to cling together luxuriously.
The creamed-spinach-like filling is then mounded into Cremini mushroom caps, sprinkled with a little Parmesan cheese and baked until the mushrooms are nearly bursting with juiciness and the filling is warm throughout and beautifully browned on top.
Served just out of the oven, or at room temperature, they are vegetables in pure party mode, the crowd-pleasing bite everyone will be talking about at your next holiday fête.
Spinach and Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms (Serves 8)
Refrigerate for up to 3 days. Serve at room temperature or reheat on a rimmed baking sheet in a 180ºC oven until warmed through.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup finely chopped shallot or onion
140g baby spinach, chopped
3 sundried tomatoes, soaked in hot water for 10 minutes, drained and finely chopped (2 tablespoons)
1/3 cup (70g) garlic-and-herb Gournay cheese, such as Boursin, at room temperature
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
16 medium baby bella (Cremini) mushrooms (about 340g), stems removed
1 1/2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 220ºC.
In a large pan over medium heat, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the shallot or onion and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 1 minute. Add the spinach, a few handfuls at a time, and cook, stirring until all the spinach is wilted down, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in the sundried tomatoes and remove from the heat. Stir in the Gournay cheese and pepper until well-combined. You should have about 1 cup of filling.
Fill each mushroom cap generously with the spinach-cheese mixture (each cap should get about 1 tablespoon), piling the filling in a high mound. Place the mushrooms onto a large, rimmed baking sheet and sprinkle each with a little Parmesan cheese. Roast for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the mushrooms are tender and the cheese on top is nicely browned.
Serve warm or at room temperature.
From cookbook author and registered nutritionist Ellie Krieger.