in the kitchen

in the kitchen

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Mushrooms Stuffed with Chickpeas

Chickpeas, garbanzo beans, ceci beans--what ever you call them, they are great. Love them in humus, in chili, in salads, toasted with spices. Here, they star as the main ingredient in a vegan stuffed mushroom. But please don't reserve them for Vegan status only. Everyone will love them! These fabulous little bites are drenched with flavor. Using mostly pantry items, they are easy on the budget as well.
Chickpea Stuffed Mushrooms
18 to 20 mushrooms, about 1 1/2  inches across
3/4 cup cooked chickpeas, divided (about half of a 15 oz. can)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 clove garlic
1 cup chopped fresh spinach
1/4 cup cooked brown rice or quinoa
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground sage
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Rinse mushrooms quickly under running water. Break stems out of mushrooms and discard (or save for another use). Place mushroom caps on paper toweling to dry. Measure 1/4 cup chickpeas into a small bowl. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and mash with the back of a fork until smooth, set aside. Lightly chop the remaining chickpeas and stir them in with the mashed ones. Smash, peel and mince the clove of garlic. Heat a small skillet over medium high heat. Add remaining olive oil. When oil is shimmering, stir in garlic and spinach. Cook and stir for 1 minute. Add rice, salt, sage, coriander and red pepper flakes. Saute for another 4 minutes, stirring often. Stir saute mixture into mashed beans. Fill each mushroom cap with 2 to 3 teaspoons of filling and place into an oiled baking dish. Cook for 20 to 25 minutes. Serve hot or warm. (These can hold prior to baking for an hour or two. Cook an additional 5 minutes or so.)
Hints: I use baby portabello mushrooms. Using a full size portabello would be nice, too. They may need to cook another 10 minutes or so. I like to rinse off the mushrooms quickly, not letting them soak at all. But if you prefer, just wipe them off before using. The spinach should be nice and dry as well. The only liquid you want is from the oil and the mushrooms themselves. Pack the filling in lightly so that the mushroom caps don't break. Add more olive oil to the stuffing mixture if it seems too dry. Use the red pepper flakes according to your desired spiciness. This recipe can easily be doubled, using a larger pan for the saute.
I think mushrooms are delightful! They have more protein than any other veggie, they are beautiful and bring nice texture and a rich, earthy flavor to any dish. Stuffing them with complimentary flavors is a delicious way to enjoy them. This version has lots going for it and should not be reserved for Vegans only. This recipe works fabulously in an appetizer array for a party.

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