Thanks to our local farmer’s market, I totally fell in love with these bruschetta stuffed mushroom caps this year! One of the farm stands had fresh mushrooms, and that became one of my favorite booths to shop at.
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In addition to delicious & meaty portabella mushroom caps and classic baby bellas (or cremini) I tried shitake and oyster mushrooms. Shitake mushrooms definitely had a unique and distinctly Asian flavor. The texture was also much different from basic white or brown mushrooms–significantly firmer and chewier (perfect for stir fry).
I found oyster mushrooms to be a new favorite! They are also a bit chewier or firmer than “regular” mushrooms but with a nice mild flavor. In fact, I found when I tore them into strips and sauteed them with a little butter and garlic salt, they tasted a bit like bacon to me! Maybe I’m delusional, but oyster mushrooms are sometimes used to make “vegan bacon.” Either way, I added them to my omelet. Now that farmer’s market is over, I may have to try growing them with a kit like this!
Anyway, back to the portabella mushrooms. Everyone knows that stuffed portabella mushroom caps are delicious (if you like mushrooms anyway). Portabella mushrooms are often used as a meat substitute in vegetarian or vegan recipes (like grilled portabella mushroom burgers). Veggie stuffed mushroom caps make a perfect vegetarian appetizer or side dish too.
Personally, I like these bruschetta stuffed mushroom caps best as a light lunch or early dinner starter. And best of all, they’re quick! But, the ingredients you use will make a difference for the flavor. Try to use good pesto and home grown or farmers market tomatoes! (PS: if you’d like to start your own tomato garden, I’ve got all the info for you!)
For the speedy shortcut bruschetta, you’ll need:
- a large handful of ripe tomatoes (home grown is best or ripe & farm-fresh if possible)
- 1 spoonful of good fresh Pesto (Costco brand is my favorite by far)
- 1-2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- optional: one clove garlic (crushed, minced or grated).
My favorite garlic tool is a garlic press or a pretty ceramic garlic grater to make it even finer–I personally hate when garlic is too chunky! Note that adding fresh garlic may make this dish feel a tiny bit “spicy” on the tongue–but it’s healthy!
For the Portabella Mushroom Caps:
- Warm about 2 tablespoons butter (or two dashes of olive oil if you insist) in a small saute pan.
- Remove the stem and press the portabella mushroom gills-down into the butter or oil and saute on low heat for a minute or two, then flip it to the other side.
- Sprinkle both sides with a dash of garlic salt and cover the pan to cook on low for another few minutes, or until the mushroom cap is tender enough for you. (I like to add a little dash of balsamic to the mushroom itself sometimes).
- Remove to a plate, and fill the mushroom cap with as much of the bruschetta as it will hold. If desired, finish with a leaf of basil or a drizzle of sweet balsamic reduction (or just extra balsamic vinegar–I can never have too much)!
Now you get to decide whether to try to cut and eat the stuffed mushroom cap like a civilized person, or attempt to pick it up and eat it like a piece of pizza. personally I kind of prefer the pizza way.