Sunday, October 21, 2012

Quinoa Stuffed Mushrooms with Slow Roasted Tomatoes

One of the joys of blogging is spending countless hours surfing through your favorite blogs, reading their first posts, digging out lots of goodies that you missed and of course bookmarking tons of fun recipes. If you haven't spent some quality time tooling around Smitten Kitchen, put it on your calendar. Great recipes, hilarious writing and always inspiring. It was her version of stuffed mushrooms from 2006 that lit the fuse for my variation above.

Stuffed mushrooms are a classic fancy comfort food. The delicious umami savoryness of sauteed mushrooms with butter, breadcrumbs, cheese and parsley is a staple of many a decent cook's fancy repertoire. But I wanted to update them, creating a version that was vegan, gluten free, made with pantry items and of course, stunningly delicious!

After a recent score of 20 lbs of San Marzano roma tomatoes at the farmers market, I knew that I was going to slow roast at least half of them to create better than sun-dried tomatoy goodness. My friend Eve introduced me to the idea at her blog Garden of Eating and I've been hooked on them ever since.

The critical trick to making these stuffed mushrooms perfect is a quick bake of the empty caps to get them to release some of their juices so your filling isn't soggy. As the caps are baking, you prepare the filling, making this a quick and easy appetizer, side or part of a main meal depending on your mood. Add a salad and you've got the perfect lazy afternoon meal!

Quinoa Stuffed Mushrooms with Slow Roasted Tomatoes (inspired by Smitten Kitchen)
(makes 16)

16 large white mushrooms
1/2 cup quinoa, cooked
6 oven roasted tomatoes (or sun-dried tomatoes in oil), diced (DIY Pantry)
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon pine nuts
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon salt
parsley for garnish, minced

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Gently pop the stems out of the mushrooms and set aside.
Peel the mushrooms by inserting your finger into the hole where the stem was and gently pulling the skin off, repeating this for the entire mushroom. Discard skins. Doing this will create a larger opening for the stuffing. Place the mushrooms on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 20 minutes.

Chop the mushroom stems and set aside. In a medium skillet, heat the olive oil and add the garlic and mushroom stems and saute until the garlic just begins to brown. Add diced tomatoes, pine nuts, nutritional yeast, and salt and cook for another 2 minutes.

Add quinoa to pan and cook another 2 minutes, tossing it to coat with the mixture. Remove from heat. Spoon into baked mushroom caps and sprinkle tops with parsley. Bake at 350 for another 10 minutes until piping hot. Serve immediately.


Recipes currently inspiring me:

Coconut Dulce de Leche at Fried Dandelions
Red Hot Chili Peppers and Bean Dip at Fridge Scrappings
Raw Chocolate Bars at Fork and Beans

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