I didn’t take step by step photos as I prepared the dish, but remembered to snap a photo of the prepared dish. The instructions are simple and the end result simply yummy!
What you’ll need:
2 large portobello mushrooms
Butter -flavored spray
2 slices of bacon, diced
2 cups chopped fresh spinach leaves
3 tablespoons basil pesto
2 tbsp. dry bread crumbs
3/4 cup grated parmesan or Italian cheese blend
2 tbsp. toasted pine nuts (hazel nuts or walnuts is another option)
1/4 cup prepared marinara sauce (fresh or jarred)
Preheat the oven 375 degrees F (190 C)
Start with the 2 large portobello mushroom caps. Remove the stems, chop into 1/2 inch chunks and set aside. Scrape the gills out with the edge of a spoon and discard (the gills sometimes give a bitter flavor).
Spray each cap with the butter-flavored spray and place stem side down on a baking dish. Roast in the oven for 10 minutes.
While the mushrooms are roasting, in a 10 inch or larger skillet cook the bacon until crispy. Add the chopped mushroom stems and cook about 5 minutes. If the bacon fat is more than about 2 tablespoons you may want to drain some of it from the pan.
Add and stir in the chopped spinach leaves and pesto, cooking until the spinach is softened. Remove from the heat.
Stir in the bread crumbs and 1/2 of the cheese until well mixed. Spoon stuffing into the mushroom caps. Top each with the rest of the cheese and nuts. Return to the oven and bake 10 to 15 minutes until heated through and golden.
Warm the marinara sauce and swirl a couple of tablespoons on a serving dish (I used a wide bowl). Place the mushroom on top of the sauce and top with the remaining sauce.
As I prepared the mushrooms I considered other ingredients that could be swapped out; sun dried tomato pesto; roasted tomatoes; roasted peppers, caramelized onions; jalapeños or other peppers for a little heat; Swiss chard or kale in place of the spinach; they could also be a vehicle for a pizza – topping with sauce, mozzarella, pepperoni or crumbled sausage. The options as always are endless and open to your own available ingredients and creativity and enjoy!