Saturday, September 25, 2010

Stuffed Portobello Mushroom - topped with a tangy OLIVE PESTO

Vegetarian for a night...

And why not, when it has this kind of tang and taste.

This is another of those, "if you can make dish A, and Dish B, Dish C is a snap" recipe.  

The Dish A is a marinara sauce. Lots of tomatoes and garlic, and a little basil and my beloved "Not your Grandmother's Herbes de Provence"  herb mixture

I did a pretty detailed post on making your own.  It is easy and much more filled with flavors than the jar, but the jar will certainly work in a pinch.  Click HERE to find my Marinara sauce formula.

The Dish B - The pesto is made with Basil, Kalamato Olives, Parmesan Cheese and some Ricotta Cheese (in place of olive oil) to make it creamy.  Could be a bit of a stretch to call it a pesto, but at least it is pesto inspired.

Here's what I did to make the Olive Pesto...

1 cup Ricotta Cheese
1 cup finely chopped Basil
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan Cheese
1/2 cup minced Kalamato Olives
1 TBS "Not your Grandmother's Herbes de Provence"  herb mixture (feel free to substitute thyme, rosemary, whatever herbs you have on hand and enjoy (but take a look at my formula for the herb mixture... works great in this)

So easy, pop the Basil, Olives, Herbs and the Parmesan Cheese in a food processor and pulse till well blended.  Fold everything into the Ricotta Cheese and you have this creamy olive pesto.  Works great as a dip (everything tastes great ona Ritz).

Or, you can roast it along with the mushroom.

OK, time for Dish C, the final product, the Stuffed Porobello Mushroom.

First, rub the "meat" side of the mushroom with a little olive oil and roast in a preheated 400 degree oven for 20 minutes to soften it up.  I drizzled just a bit of Balsamic Vinegar into the ribs of the shroom.  Roast it rib side up.

Then, add a layer of the Marinara Sauce

Add a layer of the Olive pesto.

Return to the oven just long enough to heat everything evenly, about 10 minutes.

And hey... Great news, thank everyone who voted, I made it through the first challenge in the Foodbuzz, Next Food Blog Star!  From a starting line filled with over 1800 bloggers, 400 made the first cut.  Thanks again.

It gets much more challenging each week.  Today I will be immersing myself in Asian Cuisines.  The challenge is to step out of your comfort zone and make a dish from another culture.

So, no steak, no Mediterranean Herbs... Noodles and 5 spice, will be my immersion...

See you tomorrow with my next challenge post (wish me Ganbatte ne (I think that means Good Luck, but a "do your best" kind of wish for good luck... it's complicated)!)



  1. Congratulations Dave. I voted and will vote again. I wish you the very best of luck. Your friends will be pulling for you.

    Love your mushrooms. It's amazing how meaty mushrooms taste.

  2. Congrats on making the cut!! Love this dish, grilled portabellos are my favorite!

  3. Congratulations on making it through. I hoped you would.

    Love the pesto inspired topping of this dish.

  4. Congratulations Dave! I not surprised. Carry on....Mary

  5. Congratulations! Well done... Can't wait to see what you come up with next!

  6. Nice brilliant colors, Dave. I might have to add some cheese but these look good.