Tuscan Stuffed Mushrooms
The pick up appetizer that’s a party-pleaser, your guests will ask you for the recipe! Ring in the New Year with these make-ahead delicious morsels.
Roast the eggplant:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Add a piece of tin foil or parchment paper to a baking pan. Drizzle with a teaspoon of oil.
Prick the eggplant all over with the tines of a fork, add to pan, rub oil all over and roast for 25 – 30 minutes, until “pooped” and very soft.
Remove from the oven. Slit the eggplant open, and cool. Scrape away the skin and discard – chop the eggplant into a coarse chop. (Will have some left over.)
Use leftover chicken, or rotisserie. Or, sauté chicken tenderloins in olive oil with salt and pepper until golden, yet not dry.
Remove to a plate – add 1 t. fresh thyme , a pinch of salt & pepper and cool, then chop coarsely.
Cook, and cool farro or brown rice.
Trim bottom of the mushroom stems. Wipe them clean with a damp paper towel. Carefully nudge out and remove the stems, and mince them.
In a 12″ skillet, add 1T. olive oil, and set heat to medium. Add the ‘onions’, ‘vegetables’, garlic and minced mushroom stems – stir to cook until tender crisp, about 5 minutes.
Add the thyme, oregano and basil, stir in. Add the vermouth and salt & pepper, stir up.
Take off the heat – add the farro (or rice), 1/2 cup chicken, 1/2 cup eggplant, and smoked mozzarella.
Drizzle the bottom of a 10″ x 13″ baking pan with 1 T. extra virgin olive oil. Add the mushrooms. Fill each cavity with a generous mound of stuffing/filling.
For bread crumbs: Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Add 2 T. of dry breadcrumbs (or gluten-free breadcrumbs) in a small bowl. Add 2t. olive oil, 1/2 t. grated or minced garlic and a pinch of salt, mix well.
Top each mushroom with some bread crumbs, bake for 15 – 20 minutes until the mushrooms are golden, and cooked.
Serve! Garnish each with a fresh oregano sprig and serve.
~ Cut small cherry tomatoes in half. Top mushrooms with a cherry half over the breadcrumbs and bake.
~ In the center of the stuffing/filling, add a knob of creamy goat cheese.
~ Not serving as a appetizer? Create a little natural ‘au jus’ on the bottom go the pan – – ADD 2 T. olive oil, 2 T. vermouth or white wine and 2 T. stock (chicken or vegetable) to the bottom of the pan when cooking. Spoon pan juices around mushrooms, sprinkle with fresh herbs.
Create your own flavor combination, you can also use these: Spinach, Olives, Cannellini Beans (substituting for the grain), Tomatoes, Asparagus and Artichokes.
Can make these a day ahead. Cool, cover tightly and refrigerate – then reheat, covered with foil in a 350 degree oven until warmed through.