When I first took a look at this recipe, I had no idea if I’d be able to pull it off. Once I got going in the kitchen though, I discovered that it was much more straightforward than I first thought. Not only is the recipe completely doable, it’s actually rather simple. All I had to do was read the instructions over once and follow them step by step. The dish was a complete success.
This recipe is somewhat different than those I usually undertake. The primary ingredient in this one is the portobello mushroom. While I generally consider this type of mushroom to be a challenge to work with, I must admit that my view is somewhat in error. After preparing this dish, I found these mushrooms to be rather durable and workable. While there isn’t anything too wild going on, they held their shapes and offered their distinct flavor without issue.
This is an interesting dish. It uses a great tasting filling for the mushroom that is fun to make. Once the filling is in place, I opted for a cast iron pan as opposed to a grill to cook the mushroom through. That worked very well. Also, the couscous in this dish is flavored with broth and browned white button mushrooms, so that part was just as good as any other. Overall, I’d prepare this dish again in a heartbeat. It was pleasant to put together, delicious and interesting to eat with a nice texture all around.
4 Fresh Portobello Mushrooms
Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
1 Medium Size Sweet Onion, Chopped
2 1/2 Cups Vegetable Broth, Divided
1 Sweet Potato, Peeled and Shredded
1/2 Pound Spinach Leaves, Coarsely Chopped
Ground Black Pepper
1/2 Cup Ricotta Cheese
10 White Button Mushrooms, Cleaned and Chopped
1 Cup Dry Couscous
2 Tablespoons Parsley, Chopped
1 Teaspoon Dry Thyme
I’d like to thank Williams-Sonoma and their wonderful resource called Vegetarian For All Seasons for this recipe. It was surprising how simple it was to prepare and how rewarding it was to enjoy. I’m looking forward to many other great recipes from this book.
Prepare the Mushrooms
For each of the portobello mushrooms, pull out the center stem and also use a spoon to clean out the black gills. Basically, you want to remove anything that’s not necessary because you’ll be filling each cap up with goodness.
Once that’s finished, set the mushrooms aside.
Cook the Filling
Before I did anything else, I chopped up the onion and I peeled and shredded the sweet potato.
The next step is to warm a large skillet over medium heat. When it’s warmed to temperature, add three tablespoons of olive oil to it and then add the onions. Cook the onions, while stirring, for approximately five minutes or until the onions have softened.
Then, add 1/2 cup of vegetable broth. Turn the heat to high and bring the stock to a boil. After that, add the shredded sweet potato, reduce the heat to medium again and continue to cook for about eight minutes until the potatoes have softened.
Finally, add the chopped spinach, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper. Cook for another few minutes until the spinach has wilted. Stir all these ingredients together well.
Remove the skillet from the heat.
Add the Ricotta
Next, transfer the contents of the skillet into a medium sized bowl and add in the ricotta cheese. Stir well.
Fill & Cook the Mushroom Caps
Divide the filling between the cleaned portobello mushroom caps.
Then, warm a large skillet over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the pan and place the caps in as well.
Cover the pan and let the mushrooms and filling cook lightly for 10 minutes. After this time, remove the cover and you should see that the mushrooms have been cooked all the way through. They will still be firm, but cooked. Remove the caps from the pan and keep it warm over medium heat.
Brown the White Button Mushrooms
Before I did anything for this step, I cleaned and chopped the white button mushrooms.
When that was finished, I warmed a large skillet again over medium-high heat. I added 3 tablespoons of olive oil to the pan and then I added the mushrooms.
I cooked and stirred these mushrooms for about 10 minutes until they were nicely browned.
Finally, I removed them from the heat.
Cook the Couscous
The final step for this dish is to prepare the couscous. Warm a medium saucepan over high heat. Add the remaining two cups of vegetable broth to the pot and bring it to a boil. Then, add the couscous, parsley, thyme, mushrooms and one teaspoon of salt.
Turn off the heat on the stove top. Then, cover the pot and wait about five minutes for the couscous to absorb the liquid and to soften. When that’s done, remove the cover and fluff what’s in the pot with a fork. This part of the dish is finished.
Plate & Serve
Divide the contents of the pot between four plates. Then, add one portobello mushroom to each plate, on top of the couscous mixture. Serve.
The Final Dish
While there or sort of a lot of instructions for this dish, none of them are particularly challenging. All a successful preparation takes is a bit of patience and perseverance. The result is really great looking and tasting. I encourage you to give this recipe a try. It’s a different type of dish that you may really like. If you do try it out, please let me know your thoughts in the comment section below. Thanks for reading!
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