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I’m all alone for dinner. Yup and I’m excited! In my house that means making all kinds of yummy food that wouldn’t really go over well, like popcorn for dinner for instance. That’s the type of thing you do when you’re alone. One of my favourite things in fact. Go figure. So while the hubby is away I eat all the foods I love.

Enter portobello mushrooms. I love them! But to serve it as the center piece of a meal, it wouldn’t really fly.

While I have this time to myself, I plan to get my fill of portobellos (2 for me and no sharing, yippee), eggplants (I bought 2), olives (I bought 3 containers!) and stinky blue cheese, swoon.

So this is the first of those glorious meals. From start to finish in less than 20 minutes and packed with tons of nutrients and big big flavor. It’s also loaded with healthy fats and 15 grams of protein. I had mine with lemony spinach. Delish. But you can serve it alone as a sophisticated appy or with greens and quinoa for something more substantial.

I will share with you a little secret.

Don’t skip the Tomato Balsamic Emulsion.

It’s delicious. I even lowered the blinds and licked the plate! True story. It’s quite good. As for the mushrooms, I’ve tried it with 2 types of cheese and I encourage you to use whatever cheese you like best, but the really mild cheeses will be lost on this, so stick to one with big flavor. I recommend gorgonzola, but a stinky brie was an excellent choice too. Goat cheese is pretty common and I believe it would work well here, but try and use a cheese that gets melty, gooey and has lots of flavor.

  • I received my inspiration from one of my favorite vegetarian cookbooks, Paradiso Cafe Seasons by Denis Cotter. He uses all weights for his recipes, so as a result, I really only use his recipes as a jumping off point since I don’t own a kitchen scale (I would OCD the heck out of that scale and I’d measure everything if I had one)! If you can find his book at a library I recommend you pick it up. Especially if you love gourmet, foodie inspired vegetarian meals. It’s a delightful book, filled with so much great information.

Brie and Walnut Portobello Mushrooms

  • makes 2
  • 2  Portobello Mushrooms
  • olive oil
  • 2 oz of aged Brie
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 4 large sage leaves

Preheat the oven to 375 F. Clean the mushrooms, break the stems off and reserve for another purpose. Place the mushroom caps upside down on a baking sheet. Brush the caps with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Put 1 oz of cheese (or more if you wish) on each. In a small bowl add the chopped walnuts. Finely chop the sage and add it to the walnuts. Stir to combine. Sprinkle each mushroom cap with 2 Tbsps of the walnut mixture.  Bake for 10- 12 minutes or until mushrooms are tender. If the walnuts have not browned yet, broil for 1 – 2 minutes (set a timer). Serve with Tomato Balsamic Emulsion.

Tomato Balsamic Emulsion

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup of tomato puree
  • 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 tsp crushed fresh pepper
  • 1/4 cup of Spanish smoked paprika

Using an emulsion blender, place all the ingredients in a pitcher. Blend everything into a thick emulsion. A mini food processor would work too. Season with salt and more pepper. Serve by spreading 1-2 Tbsp of the sauce on the plate and place mushroom on top.

As for the eggplant, I’m trying to decide on a Eggplant Ragout on Spelt Pasta or an Eggplant Black Bean Chipotle Chili. I’m also thinking Ricotta Gnudi with Puttenesca Sauce (hello olives and anchovies). Besides I’m going to have a heyday using up the left over sauce from this recipe! I don’t have that much time left…

What do you think? Which should I make?

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