stuffed mushrooms

I have always had something against mushrooms. Something about their flavor, or maybe their texture, never sat right with me. When I was young, I would avoid mushrooms at all costs. To this day, it’s one of the last toppings I would ever consider putting on my pizza (they are still ahead of anchovies).

But stuffed mushrooms are an exception. The mushroom becomes a complementary flavor—one that enhances the flavors of the stuffing rather than overpowering those flavors, because with stuffed mushrooms, it’s all about the “stuffed” and less about the “mushroom.” In this recipe, there is no breadcrumb filling. I used several ingredients that, when simmered together, create the most palatable stuffing. Perhaps the best part of this recipe is that it’s guilt free. Of course, I did top these mushrooms with bacon crumbles, which only adds to their flavor, but these crumbles can easily be left out to create a dish that is completely guilt free and completely vegetarian. Give these melt-in-your-mouth mushrooms a try and feel free to let me know what you think.

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Ingredients:

3 stuffing mushrooms (might also be labeled as white mushrooms)

2 c packed spinach

¼ c chopped onion

¼ c feta

1 hot cherry pepper, chopped (use ½ pepper for a more mild spice)

1 garlic clove, minced

2 tbsp. olive oil

3 slices cooked bacon, crumbled

1 tbsp. freshly grated Mozzarella or Parmesan (optional)

Preheat oven to 350. Rinse mushrooms before use. Hollow out mushrooms. Heat olive oil in a medium omelet pan. Add garlic, onions and hot cherry pepper and simmer on medium-low heat for about 3 minutes. Add spinach and simmer for another 3-4 minutes, stirring spinach to make sure it gets covered in olive oil. Finally, add feta and simmer for another minute. Scoop spinach mixture into mushrooms. Top with bacon crumbles and Parmesan and bake for 15 minutes (note: place tin foil on pan before putting mushrooms in oven—mushrooms will release moisture).

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