I have an idea.
And noooo it’s the not the magical way I’ve found to insert myself into an episode of Nashville. But that does need to happen. Gah. I love it so much.
Liam and Deacon and Gunnar oh my. Connie Britton, my pretend BFF. In my perfect world we would do each other’s hair and then maybe I’d grow a foot and a half so I could wear her liquid leather-like pants.
Yep, these are the things I actually think about.
Anyway, idea = spinach and artichoke dip in portobellos.
Back in the day, when my vegetable-hating tendencies were so strong that I’d turn down anything and everything with a touch of green, I wouldn’t go near spinach artichoke dip. That’s how bad it was. One look at dark leafy greens and my appetite was kaput. It probably wasn’t until high school that I came around and pulled my head out of my… yeah. Thank goodness.
I find it kind of crazy because even though I learned to enjoy spinach artichoke dip (with ten thousand chips of course), it wasn’t until a year or two ago that I’d even consider purchasing a mushroom and now here I am, shoving one into the other.
How times change.
I don’t know how much it counts since my veg consumption has a lot to do with whatever four cheeses I’ve bought that week, but a start is a start. And this is suuuuuch a good start.
Here’s what I love about this recipe: you can use itty bitty mushrooms and stuff them for a party. You can use medium-sized mushrooms, like I did, and stuff them as an appetizer or little side dish for a smaller dinner with guests. OR! You could take the biggest portobellos you can find and stuff them so it’s like you’re eating a little mushroom pizza.
A little mushroom pizza whose insides are cooked in bacon grease and topped with garlic butter breadcrumbs.
Yield: makes 12 mushrooms, serves about 4
Total Time: 40 minutes
12 baby portobello mushrooms, stems removed
2 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped
1 shallot, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 (6-ounce) bag of fresh spinach
1 (12-ounce) jar of marinated artichokes, drained and chopped
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
6 ounces white cheddar cheese, freshly grated
2 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Prepare breadcrumbs first by heating a small saucepan over medium-low heat and adding 2 tablespoons of butter. Add in 2 minced garlic cloves and cook for 30 seconds until fragrant, then stir in bread crumbs well, tossing for a minute or two until the mixture is combined and slightly golden. Set aside.
Heat a large skillet oven medium heat and add bacon. Cook until all fat is rendered and bacon is crispy, stirring often. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and place to drain on a paper towel. To the same skillet, add in onion and garlic with salt and pepper, cooking for 2 minutes. Stir in spinach and artichokes, cooking for 5-6 minutes until spinach is fully wilted. Reduce heat to low and stir in mascarpone cheese. Once melted, add in bacon, 4 ounces of the cheddar cheese and all of the parmesan. Stir well until combined and melted, then turn off heat.
Place the mushrooms stem side up on a baking sheet. Stuff each with an equal amount of the spinach mixture, then top each with the remaining grated cheddar. Top that with the garlic butter breadcrumbs. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until cheese is bubbly and golden. Serve immediately.
If you’re not down with the fungus, I promise I’ll make it up to you tomorrow.