The first time I ever had a portabella mushroom was a moment I shall never forget. I was in college and working as a teller at a local bank that happened to be located in a Kroger store. Remember those? It was by far my favorite job that I ever had and I know what you’re thinking……”That nerdy accountant loved counting money all day every day”, but the truth is that it was the customer interaction that I loved the most. I met some real characters working as a teller and happened to learn a lot (sometimes more than I cared to know) about the people that banked with us. We drummed up friendships with the pharmacist, the store manager, the awesome old man “Cowboy”, who was retired and worked as a bagger and made everyone’s day with his friendliness and funny antics. One of my favorite customers became a friend and invited all of us over for a cook out at their house one Friday night. She had these enormous portabellas marinating in Italian dressing and then grilled them to perfection and with that I was hooked.
I love cooking portabella mushrooms either as a meat replacement or stuff them with some sort of ground meat for the main dish or even just going back to the basics of marinating and grilling them. Over the years no matter how I cook them, I have found that it is best to soften them a bit at first and then they will truly cook to perfection whether you are baking or grilling them. And just so you know, that sweet friend from many years ago is still a friend and I have her to thank for my love of my large capped fungi friend!
- 4 large portabella mushrooms
- 1 pound lean turkey Italian sausage, cooked and crumbled
- 1 cup chopped sun dried tomatoes in oil, drained
- 6 wedges Light Garlic & Herb Laughing Cow, softened Wedges
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts
- 1/4 cup Italian herb bread crumbs
- 4 rounds Mini Babybel Mozarella Cheese
- Shredded Parmesan cheese
- Aged Balsamic Vinegar
- In a glass dish, add about 1/4 cup water. Place mushrooms top of cap down in water and drizzle with low sodium soy sauce. Microwave on high 3-5 minutes to soften. Drain off water.
- In a bowl, combine crumbled sausage, tomatoes, Garlic & Herb cheese wedges, pine nuts, and bread crumbs. Divide mixture among four mushrooms. Cut mozarella into slices and layer on top of sausage mixture. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Drizzle a very small amount of Aged Balsamic Vinegar over mushrooms.
- Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Place mushrooms in a lightly greased baking dish. Bake 20-30 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.