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Monday, February 23, 2009

Baked Mushrooms with Walnut-Spinach-Cilantro Pesto

The name seems too long for a dish that is simple to make and easy to disappear, but it says it all.

This is more of an appetizer or snack, and I usually make it just for me as nobody else in the house likes mushrooms. They don't know what they are missing.

One quick way I like to make baby portabella mushrooms, especially in small batches as appetizer is as follows:

  • saute about 2 Tbsp of finely chopped onions in some olive oil
  • optional herbs - rosemary, thyme - chopped
  • combine the sauteed onions, herbs, crumbled feta and pesto to make a filling
  • brush the cremini or baby bella mushrooms with olive oil and cook them in a pan with stem side down
  • in a minute or two, flip the mushrooms over so the stem side is up, drizzle some balsamic vinegar, splash some water, cover the pan and cook the mushrooms for about 3 to 4 minutes or so over moderate heat
  • remove from heat, spoon the filling and enjoy!

baby portabella or cremini mushrooms woody stems removed and cleaned
finely chopped onions, sauteed
colby jack or monterey jack or any favorite melty cheese
spring onions for garnish
Walnut-Spinach-Cilantro Pesto (recipe follows) OR- any favorite store bought pesto
olive oil as needed
soy sauce, just a few Tbsp to drizzle onto the mushrooms

Preparation for baked mushrooms
  1. Heat the oven to 375°F
  2. Spray the cleaned mushrooms with cooking spray, drizzle some soy sauce, spoon some Walnut-Spinach-Cilantro Pesto into the cavity, top with cheese
  3. Bake in the 375°F oven for about 20 minutes, checking on and off to make sure cheese doesn't burn; mushrooms are watery enough to stand upto even 400°F oven
  4. Serve warm, garnished with chopped spring onions

Walnut-Spinach-Cilantro Pesto:

1 cup baby spinach leaves, loosely packed
½ cup Cilantro leaves and stem, chopped coarsely
¼ cup toasted walnuts, perhaps a little more, if preferred
½ medium jalapeno, diced
¼ cup olive oil
salt to taste

  1. Combine all but olive oil and salt in a food processor and blend to coarse paste
  2. Add in the olive oil and blend to desired smoothness
  3. Adjust salt to taste
Adjust the amount of the ingredients to taste, this is quite a flexible recipe

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  • At 1:49 AM, Blogger Akal's Saappadu said…

    wow, this is mouthwatering! mushrooms topped with mozzarella and the nutty greens (rather new combination for me (spinach, cilantro and walnuts)), no wonder it disappears as soon as you prepare, hmmm, I'd prefer the whole thing for my dinner!!

  • At 6:30 AM, Anonymous Mushrooms Canada said…

    What a gorgeous looking appetizer! I could eat these as a meal just by themselves. I love how the cheese melts out the tops. Great recipe, thanks for the inspiration!
    - Brittany

  • At 9:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I came across your website while browsing for some recipes couple of weeks ago and have been sorta hooked since then. Probably because I have toddlers too and can relate to your mommy musings. Especially the one about sleepless nights had me going 'that was me'.

    Anyway I tried three recipes from your index. The quiche cups came out really well. I used quite bit of cheese though. I used the mini muffin pan and thought they might rise, so spooned in very little, so they came out tiny but tasted excellent.

    I tried chicken kebabs too, came out fine but husband doesn't like soy sauce that much, so I will probably have to change the marinade a little bit.

    I also used your recipe for stuffed baby eggplant. They looked exactly like your picture and I was all excited. But unfortunately they didn't get cooked at all, was sorta bland. I will probably try it again though, when he is not around.

    The point of this long post is that I like your recipes( most of them seem healthy), the pictures are mouth watering, and the mommy musings are touching.

  • At 6:04 PM, Blogger Sheela said…

    Akal's Saappadu: Thank you for such encouraging comments you leave for me. I really appreciate it!

    Mushrooms Canada: Thanks! Saw a bunch of nice mushroom recipes over at your space. Cool!

    Anonymous: Thank you for letting me know that my mommy musings resonates with you; and am glad you liked some of my recipes. Let me know how the stuffed baby eggplant turns out next time. I usually try to use baby eggplants about same size if possible so they cook evenly, and I "sacrifice" one to make sure the inside is cooked through :) Cheers!

  • At 11:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Nice substitute and change with the original pesto recipe...gonna try this soon. Thanks for sharing

  • At 4:17 PM, Blogger Sheela said…

    Thanks for your kind words, Prateeksha! Glad you stopped by...


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