I don’t often choose meatless meals. If I’m presented with the opportunity to choose a dish, I’m usually inclined to go with something that at one time roamed the earth. Chicken, beef, fish, and seafood? These are all good things to me. I would make a terrible vegetarian because I like my bacon and steak too much to give them up. So while I appreciate the value others put on being meatless, I appreciate even more that they don’t try and convert the world to that lifestyle. That lack of pressure makes my occasional (mostly) meatless discovery all the more enjoyable.
Stuffed portobellos, how exciting could they be? I’d say they are exciting enough to prompt one of my friends to ask when she could get a dinner invitation after seeing that picture on my flickr. If it weren’t for the fact that she lives in Boston and I’m in Baltimore, I imagine she might have jumped in the car and come over looking for some leftovers. Here’s what I told her: each bite is a different set of flavors – smooth and creamy from the cheese, smokey from the bacon, sweet from the tomato, earthy from the mushrooms, and sharp from the balsamic. I don’t know about anyone else but that description makes me wish I had a stuffed portobello right now.
You could make this a completely meatless dish. You could. Me, I like it with bacon. Like I said, presented with a choice, I’m going to choose bacon each and every time. And I’m ok with that.
Adapted from Jen @ How To: Simplify
BAH Note: You’ll want to serve this in a shallow bowl. Once you cut into the mushrooms, the juices mix with the cheesy filling to make a rich broth in your bowl. I recommend you use some french bread to soak it all up. As you start eating the the dish, it will look like a train wreck on your plate. But it will be delicious.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 4 large portobello mushroom caps, stems removed
- 3 shallots, diced
- 1/4 cup chevre or other soft goat cheese
- 1 medium zucchini, diced (1 generous cup)
- 1/2 pound ripe tomatoes, diced
- 1/4 pound bacon
Heat your oven to 350 degrees and line a sheet pan with aluminum foil. Place the mushrooms on the sheet pan.
Whisk together the olive oil and balsamic vinegar in a small bowl. Using a pastry brush, brush the tops and bottoms of the mushrooms with the vinegar and oil. Place the pan in the oven and cook the mushrooms for five minutes, flip the caps over so that the gill side is facing up and cook for ten more minutes.
Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a large frying pan until it is crisp. Let the bacon cool and then crumble it into a medium bowl. Drain the bacon grease from the pan into a small bowl. Wipe out the inside of the frying pan and return one tablespoon of the reserved bacon grease to the frying pan. Add the shallots and cook over medium heat until they just start to soften, approximately three minutes. Add the zucchini and cook until they are tender and begin to become translucent. Transfer the shallot/zucchini mixture to the bowl with the bacon.
Add the diced tomatoes and cheese to the bowl with the bacon and vegetables and gently stir until the cheese has completely melted. Season to taste with salt and pepper and then scoop the vegetable/cheese mixture into the mushroom caps. Return to the oven for 5 minutes to heat through. Serve immediately.