Mediterranean Mushroom Caps with Pine Nuts & Goat Cheese

Rich, earthy mushroom caps roasted with a sweet balsamic glaze, stuffed with a creamy mixture of goat cheese and roasted red peppers and crowned with golden toasted pine nuts. Ideal party fare, this appetizer is sure to impress even your most discerning guest. The recipe is a breeze to assemble and, because it’s vegetarian, gluten-free, and low carb, almost everyone can partake.

Recipe courtesy of Beth from Beth Dunham Photography.

Ingredients

500 grams large button mushrooms – about 20-24 mushrooms
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
130 gram soft goat cheese (4.5 ounces)
2 green onions – very finely chopped
1/4 cup finely minced roasted red pepper
Pinch hot paprika
2 -3 tablespoons pine nuts –toasted

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 375F. Wipe the mushrooms clean with a paper towel and remove the stems, reserve for another use. Whisk together the olive oil and balsamic vinegar and coat the mushrooms with the mixture using a pastry brush (or your fingers). Line a baking sheet with parchment and arrange your mushroom caps stem side up for roasting. Bake for 20-30 minutes, depending on their size, until they are light brown. The oil and balsamic will caramelize to form a sweet glaze which will contrast nicely with the earthy roasted mushrooms. Don’t be alarmed if the mushrooms release a lot of water during the roasting process. They will shrink a fair bit too.
2. While the mushrooms roast, toast your pine nuts and prepare the filling. Toasting the pine nuts is the most demanding part of this whole recipe. They will go from golden brown to black in the blink of an eye, and pine nuts are so expensive I hate to waste a single one. So, don’t blink, and watch them carefully as you toast them in a hot dry pan (cast iron is best) for 2-3 minutes, just until light golden brown. Remove the nuts from the hot pan, and set aside to cool. To prepare the filling, stir together the goat cheese, roasted red peppers, green onion, and paprika until combined. I always taste the filling at this point to see if I want to add a little more paprika. You could also substitute cayenne pepper or a splash of your favourite hot sauce if you like things on the spicier side.
3. Once your mushrooms have been roasted, remove them from the oven, and flip them over to allow any excess moisture to drain. When ready, fill the mushrooms with a generous amount of the cheese mixture and press 5-6 pine nuts into the top of the cheese. After all the mushrooms have been filled, replace the parchment on your baking sheet, arrange the mushroom caps on the tray and return to the oven for another 10-15 minutes. Make sure you take the time to sample one before you serve them, they’re likely to disappear quickly.
4. These stuffed mushrooms are equally at home served alongside fancy hors d’oeuvres at a posh cocktail party or with bowls of nachos and bottles of beer at your next Super Bowl party.

Lamb Ragout

This one pot ragout is extremely flavourful and an easy weekend meal. Mushrooms blend seamlessly with the ground lamb extending the portion size and boosting the flavour. Leftovers taste even better the next day.

Recipe developed in partnership with Ontario Lamb.

Prep Time: 15 mins. | Cook Time: 2.5 hrs. | Serves: 4

Ingredients

8 oz (227 g) fresh crimini mushrooms
2 tbsp (30 mL) olive oil
1 small onion, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper
1 lb (500 g) ground lamb
4 tbsp (60 mL) tomato paste
1 tsp (5 mL) cinnamon
1 tsp (5 mL) nutmeg
1 tsp (5 mL) Italian herbs
1 can (796 mL / 28 oz) whole tomatoes
1/2 cup (125 mL) red wine
1 bay leaf
1 lb. (500g) dried spaghetti
Freshly grated parmesan cheese
Fresh parsley, finely chopped

Method

1. Place mushrooms in a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Pulse until finely chopped.
2. Heat oil in a large sauce pan over medium-high. Add mushrooms and sauté for 3-4 minutes. Add onions and sauté for 2 minutes. Add carrots and celery; sauté until they start to soften, 4 minutes. Add garlic and sauté another minute. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Add ground lamb and cook until browned, approximately 5 minutes. Add tomato paste, cinnamon, nutmeg, and Italian herbs. Stir until well combined.
4. Add tomatoes to the pan. Using spatula, break up tomatoes. Add red wine, stir until well combined. Add bay leaf. Lower heat to low, place lid on pot and simmer 2 hours. Stir occasionally to ensure bottom does not burn.
5. Remove lid and taste sauce; season with salt and pepper as needed. Continue to simmer on low, with the lid removed; sauce will begin to thicken.
6. Meanwhile prepare spaghetti as per package directions. Serve the sauce over the pasta with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese and finely chopped parsley.

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Lamb Loin Chops with Mushroom Marsala Sauce

Lamb can be an easy and satisfying weeknight meal, and these lamb loin chops with a fragrant and flavourful Marsala sauce will prove it. Serve over-top of mashed potatoes for a complete meal.

Recipe developed in partnership with Ontario Lamb.

Prep Time: 15 mins. | Cook Time: 45 mins. | Serves: 5

Ingredients

5-6 lamb loin chops
2 tbsp (30 mL) all-purpose flour
salt & pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp (30 mL) butter
8 oz (227 g) fresh crimini mushrooms, sliced
2 shallots, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup (125 mL) Marsala wine (or dry white wine)
1/2 cup (125 mL) chicken stock
1 tsp (5 mL) Dijon mustard
Fresh thyme

Method

1. In a shallow bowl mix flour with salt and pepper. Lightly dredge loin chops in flour.
2. In a large frying pan, over medium-high heat, add olive oil. When oil is hot add loin chops to pan. Sear on either side for 2-3 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.
3. To same pan, add butter and mushrooms. Sauté mushrooms until liquid is released, about 5 minutes. Add shallots and garlic. Cook 1-2 minutes or until fragrant.
4. Slowly add wine to deglaze the pan; using spatula to scrape the pan clean. Add chicken stock, Dijon mustard, and seared loin chops to the pan. Continue to simmer, stirring frequently, until sauce is slightly thickened.
5. Sprinkle with fresh thyme and serve over hot mashed potatoes.

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Grilled Turkey & Mushroom Pesto Burgers

Recipe courtesy of Renee from Sugarbean.

Ingredients

1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup cremini mushrooms, diced small
1 medium onion, diced small
1 pound (454 grams) lean ground turkey
1 egg, beaten
1 tbsp pesto
1/2 tsp salt
fresh pepper
4 fresh Kaiser buns
sliced tomatoes
lettuce
cheddar slices
cooked bacon
pesto mayo (mix equal amounts of pesto and mayo together)

Method

1. To make onion jam, heat olive oil over medium/high heat in medium size sauce pan. Add onions, stirring well, reduce heat to medium/low and stir in salt. Cook until translucent, stirring often.
2. Reduce heat to low and cook for 20 minutes, scraping up brown bits every so often. You may need to add a bit more olive oil if it seems too dry.  Add the balsamic vinegar and brown sugar and cook about 20 minutes longer, over low heat, stirring often. Once soft and jammy, let cool and set aside.

3. Meanwhile, toss the sliced mushrooms in a large bowl with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper and thyme. Place on a parchment-lined bake sheet and roast in a preheated 400*F oven for about 20 minutes, until golden. Remove from oven and set aside.
4. Mix the goat cheese with lemon zest, thyme and salt.
Lay the sheet of puff pastry onto a parchment-lined bake sheet. With a sharp knife, score the perimeter of the pastry about 1 inch all around. Using a fork, poke holes all around inside the border – this will ensure the pastry doesn’t rise in the inside, but it does around the edges.
5. Spread the onion jam  evenly in the middle. Top with roasted mushrooms and goat cheese. Bake at 400*F for about 20 -25 minutes. Garnish with pea shoots. Serves 2 for main or 4 for appetizer.

Lemony Mushrooms and Spinach Pasta

It is delicious with just these ingredients but I like adding the cream to give the whole dish some richness & a little decadence.

Recipe and photo by Christina from Strawberries For Supper.

Prep Time: 10 mins | Cook Time: 20 mins | Serves: 4

Ingredients

1 tbsp olive oil
4 slices pancetta, chopped
250g crimini or button mushrooms, sliced
1 tbsp butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
225g linguine (about ½ a package)
juice and zest of 1 lemon
1/3 cup whipping cream (35% cream)
¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan (plus more for serving)
75g (or 2 loosely packed cups) baby spinach
½ cup pasta cooking water – reserved to loosen sauce if needed
Salt and pepper to taste

Method

1. Set a large pot of salted water to boil in readiness for the pasta.
2. In a large frying pan, add olive oil and pancetta and fry pancetta until it is crispy. Meanwhile, slice the mushrooms.
3. When the pancetta is crispy add the butter and sliced mushrooms with a good pinch of salt and pepper. Saute over a medium high heat until the mushrooms are brown. Add the garlic and saute for a few minutes. If you add it earlier, it could burn. After you start sautéing the mushrooms, start cooking the pasta. Boil the pasta according to package directions until al dente (about 7 minutes).
4. When the mushrooms are done add the lemon juice and zest. Stir the lemon juice around to deglaze the pan.
5. Add the cream and Parmesan cheese. If the pasta is close to being done, add the spinach. If you need a bit more time then turn the heat off the frying pan and when the pasta is just about done, turn the heat back on the frying pan and add the spinach then. Stir the spinach around to wilt it over a medium heat.
6. Before draining the pasta, take out about ½ cup of the pasta cooking water.
7. Drain the pasta when it is al dente and add the pasta to the frying pan. Stir it around with the mushrooms, spinach, and lemony cream sauce. Add a few splashes of pasta cooking water until you achieve a light sauce consistency. Add more salt and pepper to your taste if needed.
8. Serve immediately with extra Parmesan cheese.