I am a planner. Well, whenever I can that is. I look for interesting recipes, write grocery lists and plan weekly meals. Usually. Though there are times when I just can’t be bothered. Stuff just happens. It’s been almost a year since moving back to Malta and we haven’t stopped. Feeling overwhelmed and stressed out doesn’t even begin to describe. So for the past few months I have given up on planning meals all the time. Giving this up for the most part has not been as hard as I anticipated. I know – I’m surprised at that myself to be honest but I gradually learnt not to fuss over the little things. To an extent. Cooking and baking are meant to be stress-busters for me. Whereas lately they were completely stressing me out! And I was letting them do that. I almost made my kitchen my enemy. Say what?! The fact that I’ve been running this blog for four and a half years now has somewhat increased the pressure, even though it remains my beloved hobby and my rock. Phew.
So I decided that when it comes to buying fresh produce I was going to relax. My thought process for the past few weeks has been something like this: deep breathe, let the notepad go, let the pen go, make the journey to the veggie truck, pick the best fruit and veggies you can buy, think of some recipes while you linger, chat to the nicest people there, pay for the stuff and walk away slowly. And it’s working. It is. I feel freer and I cook whatever I want when I’m home. The kitchen is not my enemy anymore. At least for now!
The idea for this recipe has been a long time coming. Around ten years ago I went over to an American friend’s house for lunch. This house was huge, with a large airy kitchen full of sunlight. I just loved being there in one of the biggest kitchens ever. I was literally in kitchen heaven. While we chatted she quickly whipped up some stuffed mushrooms with some fresh vegetables she bought that morning. They were incredible. This is my take on that.
I cannot count the times I wrote the following sentence or something of the sort but here it is again. This recipe is as simple as 1-2-3 but it calls for a little prep. Not much really and you’ll be done in no time. If you don’t like mushrooms you can always try this with other vegetables. Keep me posted.
- 6 large mushrooms, Portobello or whatever you can find
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil, for the stuffing
- handful of fresh garlic, washed and finely chopped
- 1 small red onion, finely chopped
- 1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
- 150g breadcrumbs
- pinch salt
- freshly ground pepper
- 2 tomatoes, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil, for frying the stuffed mushrooms
- A dash or two of white dry vermouth, or a splash of white wine
- handful of fresh parsley, for sprinkling
To prepare the mushrooms, wash under cold water. Remove the stalks and discard the tips.
Create a cavity in each mushroom using a sharp knife, enough to fit a good amount of stuffing. Chop and save the cavity and stalk pieces for later. Place the mushrooms on a plate and set aside. You can rub the mushrooms lightly with some olive oil if you wish.
To prepare the stuffing, place a shallow pan on low to medium heat, and tip in the olive oil. When it heats up, add the onion and fresh garlic. Once the onion turns translucent, add the chopped carrot, breadcrumbs, tomatoes and a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir everything up and remove from the heat once the mixture starts to sizzle. Tip this in a bowl, ready to be eaten by the mushrooms!
Fill each mushroom with the stuffing mixture. Be generous. You will have some leftover stuffing once you are finished, so don’t worry.
In the same pan you used to cook the stuffing, tip another tablespoon of olive oil and heat it up. Place the mushrooms in the pan and let them brown and sizzle on one side. Add the vermouth and cover the pan. Let them steam until tender. You could also put them in a preheated oven at 180°C until the tops turn golden.
Liberally sprinkle fresh parsley over the mushrooms and serve immediately. Having said that I don’t mind eating them cold.
Delicious as a snack or served with other sides as part of a spread. Enjoy.
Once again, I have included my favourite recipes and some life events from the past few years. Take a peek.
One Year Ago: Simple Fish Curry
Two Years Ago: Prawn Linguine
Three Years Ago: Rome…l’ultima parte
Four Years Ago: Cookies with Cranberries and White Chocolate