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Mushroom Dilemma and Portobellos with Herb Breadcrumbs, Tomatoes and Mozzarella

2009 September 2

I have a love/hate relationship with mushrooms. I actually would not call it hate but rather a love/feel-sick-to-my-stomach-for-some-odd-reason relationship. No, they are not toadstools. I’ll be eating mushrooms in a meal and suddenly, please don’t make me smell them anymore, take the plate away, I need a drink- oh no, here it comes again. Something like that. I think I will NEVER eat mushrooms again NEVER and then the next time I eat mushrooms…well, you know what happens. I think my body has a limit and I often go over it. I think it’s a very small amount of certain kinds that my body doesn’t want to handle. Oh and if a dish is based on mushrooms, a soup for instance-forgetaboutit!

Greg is well aware of this and gave me a look at the farmer’s market over the weekend when I smiled at the portobellos (yes, I sometimes smile at produce) and said “4 please.” He shook his head and moved on. I became defensive (again) and began planning such a delicious recipe that he would eat that head shake. Yes, eat and no, I don’t know how someone can actually do that.

Portobellos seem to be in a different category. My inability to eat more than a few mushrooms doesn’t apply here. I have no issue with eating a portobello sandwich or using it to make a pizza; it’s nice that I feel pleasantly filled and not nauseous.

This recipe that I created is delicious, easy, healthy and can be broken into 3 parts, as it consists of mushrooms, tomatoes, and a breadcrumb topping. I wasn’t sure what to call it and I’m not into cutesy names, I’m straightforward so voila- portobello caps topped with herb breadcrumbs, tomatoes and mozzarella. I would start by preheating the oven, as it remains 375 for all parts. I would then make the breadcrumbs, followed by tomatoes and mushrooms at the same time. The stems are to be removed but you can chop and use them in the topping although I did not.

Portobellos with Herb Breadcrumbs, Tomatoes and Mozzarella

Portobellos with Herb Breadcrumbs, Tomatoes and Mozzarella

Portobellos with Herb Breadcrumbs, Tomatoes and Mozzarella
Serves 4 (or 2 persons with 2 a piece)

Ingredients:
Breadcrumbs (this part can be skipped if you already have breadcrumbs)
2 large slices of bread, cut into 1 inch pieces
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp dried thyme-optional
salt/pepper

Preheat oven to 375. In a bowl, mix bread pieces, olive oil, thyme and salt/pepper tossing until evenly coated. Place on foil covered baking sheet and bake 5 minutes at a time, flipping until both sides are golden brown. Remove to cool. When cooled, chop in food processor or take some aggression out by smashing the pieces in a bag with your weapon of choice.

Roasted Tomatoes
1 lb. mini heirloom tomatoes, sliced in half
1 tbsp olive oil
salt/pepper

Bake on a foil covered baking sheet in 375 oven for 25 -30 minutes, flipping half-way through and then cool.

Portobellos
4 portobello mushrooms, cleaned with a damp cloth and stem removed (not soaked in water)
2 ½ tbsp butter
4 tbsp bread crumbs
2 tbsp flat-leaf parsley, chopped or basil
2 tbsp heavy cream
salt/pepper
olive oil (to drizzle over caps)
4 ounces fresh mozzarella (or a cheese you enjoy)

Melt butter in a pan on medium heat and add breadcrumbs and parsley (or basil), season with salt/pepper. Remove from heat and add cream until just combined. Place caps in dish and drizzle with olive oil, top with breadcrumb mix. Bake for 20 minutes at 375, then add mozzarella (or cheese of choice) and bake another 5-10 minutes until cheese is melted and cap is cooked through. Remove from oven and serve with tomatoes on the side or top. I think toasted pine nuts would be great on this or some crumbled goat cheese-go crazy folks.

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