holiday recipes: stuffed portobello mushrooms with pear, red onion and walnuts

Sarah B. has pretty much the greatest food blog around. Not only do I recommend it, I live by it. Seriously, most of her recipes have made their way onto my kitchen table more than once. Because I have been without a kitchen for the past three months (with one more month to go), I now have a few months worth of recipes to cook my way through upon my return to Munich.

Now I have even more recipes to cook my way through. At the beginning of December Sarah announced her Holiday Reader Recipe Challenge. She invited readers to submit festive (and healthy) recipes that taste like the holidays to them. If you think that being a continent away from my kitchen would stop me from coming up with a holiday recipe then you have underestimated my obsession with cooking (especially holiday cooking). Sarah very generously compiled all of the entries into a PDF. Merry Christmas indeed!

As I said, I could not resist sending in a recipe. For this reason I do not have any pictures to send along. I came up with this recipe years ago when I was beginning to realize that this thing between cooking and I was much more than a fling. This was before I added photography to my relationship with food. However, the ingredients are all quite photogenic so I am sure that you won't have any difficulty imagining how they look (and taste) all together.

My recipe is for stuffed Portobello mushrooms with pear, red onion, and walnuts. When I first started making these stuffed mushrooms, I rather indulgently ate this for dinner at least once a week during my second year of university. I was hooked. Now that I have matured (at least in the kitchen, sometimes, I think) I realize that this recipe is quite rich and is best suited for indulgent occasions. New Years maybe?

Mushrooms are often stuffed with liver or with breadcrumbs. Keeping with the healthy spirit of My New Roots, this is a recipe for stuffed mushrooms that is gluten-free and (mostly) vegan. A little blue cheese or goat cheese on top is certainly grand, but the flavours are rich enough that the cheese is not at all necessary.

Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms with Pear, Red Onion and Walnuts

Makes 2 Stuffed Mushrooms


2 Portobello mushrooms
1 Pear
1/2 a small red onion, chopped into chunks
A handful of walnuts, coarsely chopped
Sea salt
Freshly ground pepper
Balsamic vinegar
Olive oil and/or a neutral cooking oil that likes mushrooms
Fresh rosemary and thyme


A few crumbles of blue cheese or soft goat cheese

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.

Begin by warming some neutral cooking oil or ghee in a pan on medium heat. Add the red onion and a pinch of salt. Occasionally stir when the onions begin to stick to the pan, but don't stir too much as you want the onions to begin to caramelize.

While the onion cooks, wash the Portobello mushrooms and pat them dry. Remove the stems and put to the side. Rub the mushrooms with a splash of olive oil and balsamic vinegar and season with sea salt. Place in a baking dish and then in the oven for about 5-7 minutes so that the skin begins to soften.

Roughly chop the mushroom stems and the pear. Add both to the pan with the red onion and cook until they begin to soften. You don't want either to cook thoroughly, just enough so that they are soft. Remove from the heat and add the walnuts, a pinch of sea salt and finely chopped rosemary and thyme.

Remove the Portobello mushrooms from the oven, spoon the mixture onto them so that the stuffing slightly overflows and then return the pan to the oven. Bake for another 5-10 minutes until they are incredibly fragrant, the stuffing is soft and the Portobellos are slightly shriveled. If you wish, add some blue cheese or soft goat cheese the last few minutes that the mushrooms are in the oven and bake until the cheese melts.


becca  – (January 2, 2012 at 4:32 AM)  

so much goodness and health in these! sounds delicious.

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