I wish there was a funny or enlightening story behind these mushrooms. There isn’t. Fact is, I had a package of button mushrooms in the refrigerator that were rapidly approaching a move to the trash can. They needed a bit of TLC and a flavor boost.
I wiped them off with a dry paper towel, removed the stems and scraped out the “gills”, the fan-like ribs underneath the cap.
FOOD TIP: A grapefruit spoon works great for scraping the gills out of the mushroom cap.
Next, I wanted to add flavor but I wanted to keep them light and boost the nutrition levels a bit. Spinach from the garden, sun-dried tomatoes and garlic from the cupboard sounded like a winning combination. And then you have to have the creamy/cheesy components. Ricotta or cream cheese is typically my go-to choice for fillings like this but, given that “light” was the goal, I decided to try cottage cheese. After chopping the spinach, tomatoes and garlic in a food processor, I added the cottage cheese and pulsed it until the mixture became creamy. Some grated parmesan, some shredded Italian cheese blend (just enough to boost the flavor again) and a sprinkle of black and crushed red pepper folded in and the filling was done.
After filling the mushroom caps with the filling, they went on the grill over indirect heat for about 15 minutes.
2 cups fresh spinach, packed
1-2 garlic cloves
1.5 oz sun-dried tomatoes
1 12-oz container cottage cheese
1/4-1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup shredded Italian blend cheese
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 pound button mushrooms, stems and gills removed
Place spinach, garlic clove(s), and sun-dried tomatoes in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add cottage cheese and continue pulsing until mixture is creamy. Stir in parmesan and Italian cheeses, crushed red pepper and black pepper. Fill mushroom caps with filling. Grill over indirect heat for 15 minutes or until filling is heated through and mushrooms are tender.
You can also bake these on a cookie sheet in a 350º-400º oven for 15-20 minutes.
NOTE: The sun-dried tomatoes I used were not packed in oil. They were the dehydrated kind. You can use either. If you use the kind packed in oil, remove the tomatoes to a paper towel to remove some of the excess oil before adding to the food processor.
I’m so glad I saved these guys before they had to move to the trash can. Maybe that should be a new category of recipes … “Fixer-Upper” recipes? “Upcycled” recipes?
What’s in your refrigerator?
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