Photo by Dinner Solved!: 100 Ingenious Recipes That Make the Whole Family Happy, Including You! By Katie Workman (Workman Publishing). Copyright © 2015. Photographs by Todd Coleman.
Provenance of Dish
Fork in the Road: An all-in-one vegetarian meal in its own great container—whether that container is a big fat portobello or an assortment of cute-as-a-button mini mushrooms. Mushrooms are a mainstay of many a vegetarian’s diet as they are substantial, have great texture,
and provide that elusive and desirable umami flavor we all crave (even if we don’t know exactly what umami is: See Umami? on page 258).
But not everyone loves mushrooms, and for some kids mushrooms are one of those acquired tastes (“acquired tastes” is parent code for “oh my god, if you don’t take a few bites of this I am going to scream”). Keep going—they are such a great flexible food that they are worth putting a little elbow grease behind. Turning them into pizza isn’t a bad place to start, because mushrooms are a great food to love, and a pretty important one if you are looking for hearty, healthy, meatless meals.
6 large portobello mushrooms (about 5 inches), stemmed; or see the Fork in the Road for mini substitutes
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons finely minced garlic Kosher or coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, or 1 teaspoon minced fresh oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, or 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
1/2 cup jarred pasta sauce
Preheat the oven to 450°F. Lightly oil a rimmed baking sheet, or spray with nonstick cooking spray. Scrape the gills (soft ridgey parts) out of the mushrooms.
Whisk together 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, the vinegar, 1 teaspoon of the minced garlic, and salt and pepper in a small bowl. Brush this marinade over both sides of the mushrooms and arrange them, hollow side up, on the baking sheet.
Mix together the remaining 1 teaspoon garlic, the panko, mozzarella, Parmesan, oregano, and thyme in another small bowl. Drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil over the cheese and panko mixture and toss well. Scoop some of the mixture into each mushroom cap, pressing it down slightly into the hollows and making sure it doesn’t fall over the edges.
Bake the mushrooms until the cheese mixture is melted and browned and the mushrooms are tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Let sit for a minute or two before serving. Drizzle each with some of the tomato sauce or pass the sauce for people to serve themselves.