Makes 4 servings
Hands-on time: 15 minutes
Total preparation time: 25 minutes
When I was growing up, one of the more exotic items in my mom’s culinary repertoire was stuffed mushrooms. She would make them with cultivated white mushrooms, which were considered very elegant at the time, and stuff them simply with chopped up mushrooms, onions, and bread crumbs. She usually served them as a side dish, which seemed a little over the top to me.
They were substantial, which is why I thought to do a large version, using portobellos, here in the vegetarian chapter. Portobello mushrooms are one of the meatiest mushrooms, with a great taste as well. I used three of my mom’s ingredients for the stuffing – onion, mushrooms, and bread – and then added some green beans, pesto, and cheese. You can use store-bought pesto if you want to speed up the process, but this is a pretty quick recipe anyway.
4 portobello mushrooms (4- to 5-ounces each), cleaned, stems removed and reserved, and gills scraped out and discarded
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1/2 pound green beans, trimmed and sliced into 1/2-inch pieces
1 recipe Parsley Pesto (see below)
1 plain English muffin, finely chopped
Kosher salt and freshly milled black pepper
4 ounces Muenster cheese (cut into 4 slices)
Discard a thin slice from the root end of the mushroom stems; chop the remaining stems. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over high heat until hot. Reduce the heat to medium; add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the mushroom stems and green beans and cook, stirring occasionally, until both are just tender, about 8 minutes. Transfer the bean mixture to a small bowl; reserve the skillet. Stir the pesto, English muffin, and salt and pepper to taste into the bean mixture.
Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in the same skillet until hot. Reduce the heat to medium and add the mushroom caps, open side down. Cook, covered, 5 minutes. Turn the caps over and divide the bean mixture among them; cook, covered, 5 minutes. Top each mushroom with a slice of cheese, remove from the heat, and set aside, covered, just until the cheese melts, about 1 minute. Serve immediately.