This recipe is delicious any time of the year, but for me it's especially amazing when I can get most of the ingredients fresh from my favorite Fat Moon Farm. The owner, Elizabeth, always teaches me something new when I go and I love seeing all the changes every week. So, obviously not all of you have the luxury of a farm close by, but even buying your produce seasonally makes a huge difference in their tastes. That being said, I do buy things from Trader Joes or another grocer out of season, I just know that it always makes my belly and my family a wee bit happier to have things taste their best. And isn't that the greatest?
Let's talk about a few of the ingredients here first. Quinoa is actually a seed...A SEED! It's delicious and so good for you. I beg you to give it a try. It's got a great "chew" to it and is so versatile. I think I've talked before about most days having a big resealable bag of quinoa and another of either a brown or wild rice in my fridge. I will usually make them on a Sunday and if it's football season it's not a huge bother because you just let it set on the stove top with the cover on! I always find things to use it for and it also makes my life easier when I want something good but quick.
Arugula...it's a green and it's amazing, but I will admit I'm not a huge fan of it raw. Cooked and it's fantastic. It wilts like spinach but doesn't lose it's body or get mushy like spinach does and it has so much flavor where spinach doesn't really do it for me unless I'm adding to it. So good. Elizabeth was telling me that she has a ton of it but no one is really buying it. WHAT? Fresh arugula isn't being purchased and scarfed down? Oy. I make a tremendous pesto with it as well...I really need to get on that post too! ☺
Here's What You Need
- Portabello Mushrooms (8)
- Olive Oil
- 4-5 Cloves Garlic, chopped
- 1 Leek, chopped in half moons
- 1 Medium Zucchini
- 1 Yellow Squash
- ½-1 teaspoon Oregano, depending on how much you love the herb
- ½ Cup Peas, fresh or frozen
- Arugula, 3 large handfuls
- Quinoa, 2 cups (cooked)
- Wild Rice, 1 cup (cooked)
- 1 Cup Feta
- ¼ Cup Pine Nuts, toasted
- 3 Tablespoons Basil
- 2 Tablespoons Parsley
- Tomato Sauce, My Version of Sauce or from a jar works too
I have to use two 9½ x 11 dishes for this recipe, of course if you don't need 8 stuffed mushrooms just halve this recipe. No biggie. Brush the mushrooms with olive oil and place them gill side up in your dish. A bit of pepper does nice things at this point as well...just saying. Place them in a 375℉ oven for 20-25 minutes to roast. While that's doing it's thing you can easily get the filling done. This roasting is an important step because the filling will be completely cooked. The first time I made this dish I didn't roast them first and then the quinoa was too crunchy on top from being in the oven too long. Don't make that mistake. Eeeek!
Leeks need to be cleaned really well. They have layers and sand get's in there and biting down on gritty leeks is definitely one of my least favorite food things. Cut the leek in half lengthwise then chop it in half moons. I then take a large bowl, put it in my sink and add the leeks with as much water as possible. Then I roll up my sleeves and rub the leeks between my hands, this breaks the moons up and the grit falls to the bottom while the leeks stay clean and pretty at the top. Whatever you do, don't skip this step. It takes 3 minutes. Once you're done here, dry them a bit on a clean kitchen towel and add them to a large saute pan with 2 Tablespoons of olive oil. Cook them for 2 minutes or so just to soften them then add in your garlic. Now after 45 seconds the garlic should start smelling amazing. The smell of garlic makes me instantly hungry.
Feel free to add in your squashes and oregano now and throw some salt and pepper in there while you're at it. As I have said before, I like my vegetables to have some color on them so I like to caramelize mine a good deal. If you like yours just softly sauteed then do that. My recipes are all pretty forgiving and easily adjusted to your tastes.
While this magic is happening in your pan please get a large bowl and add in your quinoa, rice, feta, basil and parsley and mix them all to get aquainted. If you have a party at your house you introduce people right? Same with this only the party is in the bowl instead of your family room! Actually, all good parties end up in the kitchen or wherever the booze is in my experience!
Check on the squash mixture and if it's where you want it to be color wise, add in your peas and arugula. Don't forget to add in a little more of your S & P and you may also need to add another Tablespoon of olive oil too! It should be nicely wilted in 2 minutes. Now take the whole saute pan and add the contents to your rice bowl. More guests have joined the party...introduce them and mix!!!
Now let me confess. I burn things. More specifically, nuts. So when I have them in a recipe I always make sure I don't have anything else that needs my attention, I stand over that pan and watch them like a hawk. Honestly. If you are capable of toasting the pine nuts while introducing the rice and quinoa and sauteing squash, go right ahead. Brag about it in the comments below if you must. I will applaud you. I am a master nut roaster only when it's all I have to do! LOL! Once yours are done, get them in the quinoa bowl and mix.
Please, before you try stuffing your mushrooms let them cool a bit. I take them out of the pan they roasted in and cool them on another dish so I can add some sauce to the bottom of that pan. Then add them back on top of the sauce. Depending on the size of your shrooms they will take ⅓ to ½ cup of filling, I overfill mine.
Once every mushroom has been filled I top each with ¼ cup of additional sauce and then mozzarella. Is it shocking that I REALLY pile on the cheese? It just makes everything right in my world.
Everything is cooked at this point so you really just need to heat it all through and get your cheese all nice and melty. Fifteen minutes should do the trick but if you want to brown the top of your cheese a bit you can also then throw on the broiler for a minute or two.
There you have it. Great meal, full of protein and happiness. Serve it with a simple salad and dinner is ready. Amazingly these can also be made the day before (I wait to top with the cheese until it's time to go in the oven though) and life is really easy!
Bon Appetit...it's time to eat!