Portobello mushrooms are giant mushrooms that measure about 4 to 6 inches across. They have a very strong flavor and texture that is often described as meaty. As used in this recipe, they are so filling that they could be served as a main course. Add a tossed salad or some steamed vegetables and the meal is complete.
I tend to buy the smaller rather than the larger portobellos since the 4-inch is ample for one serving.
Pine nuts give this recipe a very unique crunch. They’re a very tasty nut with a high fat content. However, because of the fat content they can turn rancid very quickly unless stored properly. They should be stored in the refrigerator in an air-tight container (where they will last for up to 3 months) or the freezer (for 9 months).
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
To clean portobellos, wipe the outside of the mushroom with a damp paper towel.
Then, with a small paring knife, trim out the stem. These mushrooms are so big the stems tend to be a bit tough. (Does anyone remember the mushrooms in the movie ‘Journey to the Center of the Earth’?)
With a small spoon, scrape out the dark brown bits fanning out from where the stem was. These bits are actually called the gills of the mushroom. You can eat the gills but for this recipe I like to remove them. (For a vegetable, this food has some pretty strange terms describing it; meaty flavor and gills!)
Go get a baking dish that will hold the four mushrooms in one layer in the dish. Or you can use four individual dishes. Spread 8 ounces of spaghetti sauce in the bottom of baking dish.
Arrange the mushroom caps, gill-side up (or the side where the gills used to be). Divide 4 ounces of goat cheese between the four mushrooms.
Sprinkle on 1/4 teaspoon of oregano on each mushroom.
Top with 1/2 Tablespoon of pine nuts on each mushroom.
If you are using individual dishes, place them on a baking sheet with sides.
Bake the mushrooms for 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly.
Inspiration: The South Beach Diet Cookbook
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