Back on December 14th I wrote up a plain-and-simple recipe for oven-roasted portabello caps with olive oil, salt and pepper. Last night for Christmas dinner I made something along the same theme, but a bit fancier: this time I mixed up a sauce of olive oil, vinegar, tumeric and spices, poured over the caps; then I topped them with chopped veggies, including shiitake mushroom caps and white button mushrooms (when it comes to the 'shroom, for me less is never more.) I added whatever I had at hand, such as tomato and spinach, then topped the caps with two kinds of cheeses. After the 'shrooms were tender and I had removed the pan from the oven, I reserved some of the pan juices as a salad dressing over deeply-colored red leaf lettuce.
This looks like a "recipe" but is really more of a "suggestion" I think, because I've done the same thing previously but with different sauces and spices, different veggies, etc. (Bell pepper of any color made an especially nice addition on another occasion; and I can imagine adding a little scoop of quinoa atop the caps, or served alongside.) To make this completely vegan, simply use a vegan cheese such as almond cheese, or omit altogether. In a prior version I also chopped some canadian bacon into small dice and added it atop the caps; tasty, but unnecessary. The only essential here is the portabello caps themselves, the meatiest of 'shrooms and the foundation of the "stack". Beyond that, make any substitutions that your fridge and your fancy will allow.
Portabello Mushroom Stacks with Tumeric Sauce
2 T olive oil, plus extra to coat baking dish
1-1/2 - 2 T "red" vinegar - red wine, apple cider; or balsamic
1/4 - 1/2 tea. ground tumeric
black pepper to taste
1/8 tea. or about a pinch of ground cayenne
1 medium-size garlic clove, crushed and finely minced
1-2 small scallions (green onions), or whatever green shoots happen to be sprouting out of your onion basket, chopped fine
2 portabello mushroom caps, stems removed, any surface dirt wiped off
veggies cut into very fine dice: carrot, shiitake mushroom caps (stems removed) and small or medium button mushrooms
1 small tomato, seeds and core removed, diced
baby spinach leaves, about 6 (or substitute 2 mature leaves)
parmesan or other hard cheese, grated
2 slices swiss cheese
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F; coat baking dish (ceramic, glass or metal) with a thin film of olive oil. Combine the first five ingredients in a measuring cup, adjusting to your liking with each addition. Add the white and palest green parts of the scallions, reserving the darker greens for later. Emulsify well.
Pierce the portabello caps with a fork randomly, especially in the thick center part-way or all the way through; lay on baking dish gills-side up. Pour 1/3 - 1/2 of the sauce over the caps, then layer the various chopped veggies, including the reserved darker parts of the scallions, over the caps. (Of course some will spill off the sides. No worries.) Layer the spinach leaves atop the veggies, pour the remaining sauce over all of it.
Grate the parmesan over the stacks as much or as little as you wish; layer 1 slice of swiss cheese over each, grate on a bit more parmesan if you like, and finish of with a few more rounds or pinches of black pepper. Place the baking tray in the middle of the oven and bake until the very center of the mushroom are fork-tender all the way through; 9-12 minutes should do. Remove from oven and let sit a couple of minutes if you like to let the juices settle. Pour some of the juices over the stacks when serving, reserving the rest for salad dressing (below).
Salad dressing (optional): Let the remaining pan juices cool and crunchy bits cool a little, then emulsify with some tangy plain yogurt or keifer, a splash more vinegar or lemon juice, and seasonings (salt, pepper, etc) to taste.
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