When Mushrooms Canada asked Canadian Food Bloggers to share a holiday recipe using mushrooms, I thought that an elegant and crowd-pleasing appetizer recipe would be perfect. I remembered seeing a recipe for stuffed portabella mushrooms, then came up with what I thought was a brilliant idea to stuff smaller crimini mushrooms with some sort of creamy goat cheese mixture. I turned to Google to see if there was anything similar out there for inspiration, only to discover that pretty much every other person in the world has already had this idea before me. Apparently I’m not so brilliant after all.
I decided to still go ahead with the stuffed mushrooms because I’ve never tried them before, and with that many recipes out there, they must be good! Since it was too overwhelming to try to choose a recipe from all the options, I ended up just making up my own mixture based on what I thought would taste good. I’m calling them ‘Italian’ stuffed mushrooms because the ingredients I chose seemed to form an Italian theme (sundried tomatoes, garlic, breadcrumbs, parsley, basil, parmesan..), but true Italians may disagree with me :)
When the warm, savory little mushrooms came out of the oven bubbling with cheese, I couldn’t resist biting into one right away. Of course, I immediately spit it out because it was scalding hot, then stood there impatiently waiting for them to cool down, the torture from the smell growing every second. When they were cool enough to eat, I scarfed one down, then another, and another .. they were so good! I shared only a couple with my sister to get a second opinion (she confirmed they were delicious), then ate more for dinner and the rest for lunch the next day (they were definitely best fresh out of the oven but I still enjoyed them reheated the following day).
I cannot believe I haven’t tried these earlier, but I plan on making up for all my years without stuffed mushrooms by making them any chance I get from now on! I will especially make sure they make an appearance at at least one holiday gathering this month because I know everyone else in my family will love them too. I also want to try one of the many other versions out there but I feel like I don’t even need another recipe because I liked this one so much! Maybe one day :)
Italian Stuffed Mushrooms with Goat Cheese
Makes about 10-15 stuffed mushrooms - Plan on 1-2 per person as an appetizer
8-10 oz cremini mushrooms (about 10-15 mushrooms, depending on the size - I found the smaller, the better)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 shallot, minced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
3 tablespoons finely chopped sundried tomatoes (I used about 4-5 dried tomatoes, redhydrated as per package instructions, but you could also use the oil-packed kind)
4 oz goat cheese
2 tablespoons Italian breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried basil (or 1-2 teaspoons chopped fresh basil)
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
*Note: The Italian breadcrumb mixture I used already contained salt, but if you are using plain breadcrumbs you may wish to add a pinch of salt or other seasonings along with the pepper.
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Wipe mushrooms with a damp paper towel to clean (don’t wash as the mushrooms will absorb the water). Break off the stems and set them aside. Gently scoop out the gills inside the mushroom (I used 1/4 teaspoon measuring spoon to do this) and discard, being careful not to break through the mushrooms.
Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray and set mushrooms on the pan with the hollowed side facing up. Bake for 10 minutes at 375°F. Pools of water will form in the hollowed out part of the mushroom. Remove baking sheet from oven and pour out the water from each mushroom, then replace mushrooms on sheet.
Meanwhile, dice the reserved mushroom stems. Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add diced stems and shallot and cook until lightly browned, about 4-5 minutes, stirring often. Add garlic and saute for another 30 seconds or so. Transfer mixture to a bowl.
Add chopped sundried tomatoes, goat cheese, breadcrumbs, parsley, basil, and pepper to the bowl and mix everything together until smooth and thoroughly combined.
Spoon goat cheese mixture into the mushrooms. Top each with a light sprinkle of parmesan. Bake for 15-20 minutes at 375°F.
Remove from oven and top with additional chopped parsley, if desired. Serve warm.