What’s your go-to fall dish? Maybe a creamy soup? Maybe a hearty stew? I don’t know about you, but soups and stews are big hits in our family at the moment. As soon as the mornings get cooler and the nights get longer, these two kinds of quintessential comfort foods start calling out our names 🙂 They don’t necessarily have to include meat – as a matter of fact, we thorough enjoy vegetarian or even vegan dishes at this point in the year. I grew up eating lots of fruits and veggies (we didn’t have access to meat back in the day), and my earliest childhood experiences cooking alongside my mother have inspired me to continue this family tradition of eating a diet chock-full of produce.
And yet, soups and stews are not the only things you can eat during the fall, right? Enter these delicious stuffed portabella mushrooms I’ve been making with increased frequency lately 😉 I wanted to get out of the usual “soup and stew routine” and to challenge myself, and the weekly sale at the local grocery store could not have come at a better time. My recipe is vegetarian, but you can leave the cream cheese out or use a plant-based alternative for the ultimate vegan treat. Stuffed mushrooms can be such an exciting and creative dish, after all!
With this recipe I started off by sautéing chopped onion with extra virgin olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Once the onion was light yellow and translucent (it usually takes 3-5 minutes), I removed it from the pan and placed it in a medium size bowl. I added sliced green olives, slivers of sun-dried tomatoes and marinated artichokes, cubed red bell pepper, and chopped fresh parsley. I poured extra virgin olive oil, sprinkled salt and pepper to taste, and mixed with a spoon until combined.
There’s nothing like a variety of typical Italian ingredients to make the mushrooms come to life, and then live in your foodie mind happily ever after 😉
I placed the mushroom caps in a large baking pan covered with parchment paper. I added cubes of cream cheese (about 3-4 cubes per cap), which I then topped with the veggie mixture above (about 2tbsp per mushroom).
So pretty, right?
I placed the pan in the preheated oven and let the mushrooms cook for about 25 minutes or until soft to the touch and slightly wrinkled.
Here’s how they looked right after being taken out of the oven…
…and here they are slightly cooled down and ready to be eaten. Such a yummylicious veggie treat!
I usually serve these hot with extra chopped fresh parsley on top, as a main meal or accompanied by polenta.
The brininess of the olives works with the mild cream cheese flavor beautifully, while the vibrant notes of bell pepper and parsley add freshness and sophistication, and make the dish complete.
The mix of flavors is incredible!
With these stuffed mushrooms on the menu, our fall lunches and dinners have been brighter, livelier, and overall more challenging than our usual seasonal soups and stews. Starting off with simple ingredients minimally handled and processed, this dish has been a powerful reminder to me that fall eating doesn’t have to be “same ol’, same ol'”. I have really been enjoying this fall flavor challenge I have set up for myself – and I hope you give it a try too 🙂