I remember my mother making stuffed mushrooms for the big football games; my father loved them stuffed with sausage and cheese. In a nod to our improved diets, I offer a vegetarian version. I have upgraded the technique a bit by pre-roasting them until they begin to exude liquid and then stuffing and baking a second time. I think it reduces the “squeak-on-the teeth” factor. I also don’t chop up the stems to use in the stuffing; half the stem is tough and the other half is dirt-caked. Instead, wash the stems and make broth with them and chop up fresh mushroom caps to add to the stuffing mix.

Yield: 16 to 24 mushrooms,depending on pack size

Prep time: 30 minutes

Cooking time: 25 minutes divided

Degree of difficulty: easy



• 4 packages large “gourmet mushrooms for stuffing,” *

• 4 ounces other fresh, white or brown mushrooms

• 3 ounces peeled shallots, or 1/2 red onion

•1 stalk celery, washed and dried

• ½ pound eggplant, cut into small, 1/8 inch dice

• ¼ cup olive oil, plus extra as needed

• 1 to 2 ounces unsalted butter

• 2 cloves garlic, peeled

• 5-6 pieces sundried tomato halves

• 1 ½ ounces shredded mozzarella cheese

• 4 ounces breadcrumbs

• 2 ounces grated parmesan cheese

• Fresh herb mix: 4 sprigs flat-leafed parsley, 1 sprig fresh thyme or 1 sprig fresh oregano 1 sprig fresh mint, **

• May substitute dried herbs, ***

• Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste



1. Begin by separating the stems from the caps. Put the cap of the mushroom in your palm and twist gently so as to not break the caps and remove each stem. Gently wipe each cap clean with wet paper towels. Rinse the stems and save for mushroom broth. Follow the same technique for the smaller mushrooms that will get chopped for the stuffing. Set both size mushrooms aside.

2. Wash the herbs and dry in paper towels. Set aside.

3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

4. Chop the small mushroom caps. You can do this by pulsing briefly in a food processor or chopping with a chef’s knife. Don’t puree them in the food processor, just pulse briefly. Set aside.

5. Finely chop the peeled shallots or red onion, the eggplant and the celery. You are going to be stuffing this mix into mushroom caps, so a very small dice works best. This is not an enormous amount of vegetables to chop and chopping by hand will give you a finer dice and the vegetables will be drier. Chopping in the food processor forces the vegetables to break down and exude much more liquid.

6. Mash the garlic cloves to a paste. Finely chop the sun dried tomato halves. Set aside.

7. Pre-roast the large mushroom caps: Rub the caps with olive oil. Use your hands and lightly coat them on both top and bottom. Lightly oil two sheet pans. Divide the mushroom, cap side down on the two sheet pans. Sprinkle lightly with kosher salt. Roast at 350 degrees for 8 to 12 minutes or just until the mushrooms begin to exude liquid. Remove sheet pans from oven and remove mushrooms to paper towels to dry them off. Collect and save the liquid for your mushroom broth that you are going to make with the stems, see step one. Don’t wash the sheet pans.

8. Pre-heat, on moderate heat, a sauté pan that is large enough to hold all the chopped vegetables. Add two tablespoons oil to the pan along with two tablespoons of butter. Add to the heated sauté pan: the chopped shallots or onions, the chopped celery and the chopped eggplant. Season with a pinch of kosher salt and a twist of fresh ground pepper. Sauté over medium to low heat until vegetables have softened. Add the reserved chopped mushroom caps, the diced sundried tomatoes and the mashed garlic. Season again with a bit more salt and pepper and continue to cook over medium to low heat until the mixture has softened completely. Let cool.

9. Add the grated mozzarella cheese to the mix and two tablespoons grated parmesan cheese and combine thoroughly. Remove the leaves from the herb stems and chop. Add the chopped herbs to the filling mix. Taste and adjust seasoning. Mix in some breadcrumbs, one tablespoon at a time until the mixture holds its shape but does not seem dry.

10. Pack some stuffing into each cap, mounding the top a bit. Put back onto the sheet pans. Sprinkle a bit of grated parmesan cheese over the top. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil.

11. Roast the stuffed mushrooms for 10 to 15 minutes.

12. For the meat-lovers: twirl a thin sliver of prosciutto or ham on some of the mushrooms when you plate them.

13. Enjoy warm.



*Large gourmet mushrooms/stuffing mushrooms are each about 2-3 inches in diameter. There are 4-6 mushrooms per pack, depending on size.

**Wash and dry all the fresh herbs at the beginning of gathering/measuring your ingredients for the recipe. It’s impossible to finely chop wet herbs.

***If using dried herbs, reduce the quantities of herbs by 75 percent by volume; dried herbs are much more potent.


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