Eggplant and portobello mushrooms are a perfect marriage. Throw in a bit of gorgonzola and some spices and you have a delicious meal. Yum! “Portobello mushrooms are rich in potassium, essential amino acids, and vitamin B. They are low in calories and fat-free, but a great source of protein which is why they are so popular among vegetarians. Eggplant is a species of nightshade commonly known in British English as aubergine and also known as brinjal, brinjal eggplant, melongene, garden egg, or guinea squash. As a member of the genus Solanum, it is related to both the tomato and the potato. Surprisingly, it is botanically classified as a berry with its small edible seeds”. (Wikipedia) Who knew?
This recipe calls for marinating the mushrooms in balsamic vinegar first, which creates a meatier texture and richer flavor, however, this step is optional, especially if you prefer the original mushroom taste but you may need to add oil or vegetable broth so the mushrooms don’t dry out. Serve with a light salad or a fresh baguette. I’ve included a citrus salad because they are so good this time of year and I bought navel oranges and grapefruit at the farmer’s market last week. My favorite simple vinaigrette is equal parts avocado or olive oil with vinegar and salt and pepper. But my favorite vinegar is from my brother, Paul’s winery, Paradisos Del Sol in Washington State. It may not be fair to share this since I don’t know if the vinegar is for sale (but the wine is). Bon Appetite
Portobello Mushrooms Stuffed with Eggplant and Gorgonzola
4 large portobello mushrooms
½ tsp each of garlic and onion powder
½ cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1 small or ½ large onion, diced
2 Japanese eggplants
2-3 plum or roma tomatoes, chopped or 1 can diced tomatoes
2-4 garlic cloves, minced
6 ounces crumbled Gorgonzola, feta or mozzarella cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (Optional)
- Wipe mushroom caps clean with a damp papertowel. Do not immerse mushrooms in water as they will get waterlogged. Remove stems, chop and set aside.
- Combine the balsamic vinegar, garlic powder, and onion powder together in a large resealable plastic bag. Add mushrooms, seal bag turn until mushrooms are evenly coated. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
- Wipe eggplant dry, chop and sprinkle with salt. Let sit for a few minutes, until it sweats.
- Heat oil in heavy medium skillet over medium heat. Add onion, eggplant, and garlic. Sauté until onions are translucent and eggplant is soft, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and mushroom stems and cook another 2 minutes. If you are using canned tomatoes, drain and reserve juice for another use. Remove from heat; stir in Gorgonzola cheese and 1 tablespoon basil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Arrange mushrooms, rounded side down, on large baking sheet. Spoon mixture evenly into mushroom caps. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Cover mushrooms with aluminum foil. Bake mushrooms for 15 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking until cheese melts, filling bubbles and mushrooms are tender when pierced with sharp knife, about 10 minutes(Larger mushrooms may need to cook longer). Sprinkle mushrooms with remaining 1 tablespoon basil and serve warm
Fennel Citrus Salad
1 stalk fennel, cleaned and thinly sliced horizontally(white part only)
2 pink grapefruit or navel oranges, segmented
1 avocado, sliced
1 bunch mixed greens
Toss ingredients with your favorite vinaigrette.