Spring cooking is an invigorating time for me. Finally, the porch door is wide open, and the windows in the house are cracked to let in the fresh, cool air. The little farmer’s market in my town just opened up a couple of weeks ago, and new veggies are rolling in week by week. Days can go by when I’m uninspired to make anything new, but a good farmers market run is a sure fire way to get my recipe inspiration wheels turning. I like to go the farmer’s market sans shopping list. When I saw these portobello mushrooms in the market a couple of weeks ago, along with fresh cilantro: *bam*– idea created.
I’m neither vegetarian nor vegan, but do tend to stick to plant based proteins in the spring because that’s what my body craves. Lots of vegetables, greens, bitters, and light proteins. In the past, I’d use a similar chimichurri sauce as a steak marinade and omg it was so delicious. On roasted portobello’s, just as good (and honestly, much more satisfying).
When I was recipe testing this, I literally enjoyed every single version (and basically ate stuffed mushrooms for a couple of days very happily). My spice cupboard over the years has been steadily stocked with herbs and spices from Mountain Rose Herbs, and I use these almost exclusively when I want an easy, flavor filled meal that tastes gourmet. Their spices are exceptionally fresh and aromatic, and make every single recipe 100 times better. This veggie stuffed portobello mushroom with herbal chimichurri is a favorite recipe of mine to serve for a simple lunch, or an addition to a light spring meal. It’s vegetarian based (but feel free to add bacon for an added savory twist). If you’d like to make these entirely vegan, omit the cheese. I love to use stuffed portobello mushrooms as a protein source for meals that’s both nutrient dense, and protein rich. Quinoa is one of the most protein packed whole grains, and when cooked in a broth, the flavor is much more robust and savory. You can easily double this recipe and have 6-8 stuffed mushrooms to serve for a crowd.
Now, an ode to the herbs and spices in this recipe. They MAKE this dish. The quinoa combo contains smoked paprika, garlic granules, coriander powder, and cypress flake salt. When combine together it’s incredibly delicious, and the quinoa mixture tastes great all on it’s own to serve as a simple quinoa salad. The chimichurri flavors mainly come from the fresh parsley and cilantro, however the addition of a bit of the cypress flake salt and oregano mellow out the flavors and turn this sauce into an essential spring marinade, sauce, dressing or cleansing little side to anything you’re serving on the energetically “warmer” side to add a cooling balance.
Notes on cooking portobello mushrooms: Bake these separately first. Mushrooms have a high water content, and the pre-bake will remove the majority of the liquid from the mushrooms prior to baking them before they’re stuffed. Don’t skip this step, or you’ll be in for a soggy stuffed mushroom.
Notes on Chimichurri: Let this mixture sit for a bit (or even overnight) so the flavors meld and jive together. It’ll mellow out the longer it rests, but tastes delicious freshly made too. Chimichurri makes an amazing marinade for nearly all meats and tofu, and it’s my favorite thing to add to scrambled eggs and omelettes, btw.