Spinach and Artichoke Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms with Tomato and Bread Salad
Serve with Caesar’s Scampi.
- 8 portabello mushroom caps
- Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), for brushing mushrooms, plus 1/4 cup
- 1 box frozen chopped spinach (10-ounces), defrosted
- 1 can quartered artichoke hearts, drained well
- 1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 clove garlic, grated with microplane or small side box grater
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Freshly grated nutmeg, about 1/8 teaspoon
- 1/2 cup Parmigiano Reggiano, a couple of handfuls
- 6 plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves, about 20, torn
- 4 cups crusty bread, torn or coarsely chopped
- 1 small red onion, very thinly sliced
- Tidbit: Panzanella, stale bread salad, requires that you soak and wring out the bread before assembling the salad. If you make this with fresh crusty bread or the bread has staled a bit but not hardened, the juice from the tomatoes should be enough to tenderize the bread’s crusty edges.
Pre-heat grill to medium-high and oven to 425°F.
Using a damp towel, brush mushroom caps to clean. Using a pastry brush, coat the caps with EVOO and grill with lid down or roast about 5-6 minutes, turning once, until tender but still firm at center.
Wring the spinach out in a clean kitchen towel. Separate the spinach with your fingers and combine with artichokes, ricotta cheese, egg yolk, grated garlic, salt and pepper, to taste, and nutmeg.
Remove mushroom caps from grill.
To portion-control the filling, divide the stuffing into 4 parts then just split each of those evenly between 2 caps. Sprinkle the caps with Parmigiano and cook 5-6 minutes more in the pre-heated oven to set filling and lightly brown tops.
Do not seed tomatoes. Chop and place in a salad bowl. Add basil, bread, onions, 1/4 cup EVOO, lots of salt and pepper and toss with your hands to combine.
Serve 2 caps with a pile of salad alongside, if desired, per person.