Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Cooking with Mollie #18: Ricotta-filled Portobello Mushrooms

A vegetarian is always looking for hearty, filling entrees. One can only eat so many veggie burgers, so sooner or later, mushrooms come into play.

This recipe for Ricotta Stuffed Portobellos is, of course, from Mollie Katzen's great cookbook "The Vegetable Dishes I Can't Live Without."

This dish does take a bit of cooking time, but the actual prep is quick and easy. First, you clean a big portobello mushroom cap, remove the stem and scrape out the gills with a spoon.


The denuded cap looks like this:

You start sauteeing the mushroom caps while you prep the filling. It takes about 10 minutes on each side, depending on how big your mushrooms are.

A really great ricotta is a beautiful thing. I get Angelo and Franco brand from Fresh & Easy and it is so soft and fluffy that it is like the breath of baby angels.

The filling is just ricotta, garlic, salt and pepper. I think it might be nice with some herbs thrown in, too, or maybe a dash of ground Aleppo peppers for spiciness.

The filling goes in the mushrooms, gets topped with a slice of ripe tomato (I used yellow, which is kind of pretty) and sprinkled with parmesan and thyme.


A few minutes under the broiler and voila - you have the richness of the portobello on the bottom and the delicate filling on top. A nice, satisfying entree - and much more impressive than a veggie burger.


Bon appetit!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Cooking With Mollie #18: Asparagus with Pomegranate Lime Glaze

Happy Springtime! Spring, and the asparagus has sprung. My Farmer's Market has all different kinds, ranging from the thin, grassy little whips to the big super-chubby spears. I love them all, but my preference is for the big fatties.

This recipe for Asparagus with Pomegranate Lime Glaze has just a few ingredients (recipe at link).

One, pomegranate molasses, might be a bit hard to find. A Middle Eastern market is the best bet. I visited our local family-owned supermarket, which happens to be owned by Middle Easterners and stocks lots of items commonly used there - fava beans, za'atar, sheep milk feta - all kinds of loveliness.


Roasting asparagus might seem odd, but you MUST try it if you haven't already. It intensifies the flavor of the asparagus while preserving the sweetness. It is my favorite way to eat one of my favorite vegetables.

The glaze comes together quickly - pomegranate molasses, lime juice, heat. The hardest part is squeezing the limes, and a good citrus reamer makes short work of that.


Then you just drizzle the glaze on the spears, sprinkle with good salt, and voila. A real treat. I don't think asparagus needs much flavoring, but this is a nice surprise.

You could use the glaze for many, many things. I even added some to sparkling water to make a little soda. It was good!

Suebob says thumbs up. Bon appetit.