When we’re young, everyday constantly brings you something new and unseen before. Questions like, where do rainbows come from and why do bird fly, are asked. I’m a very curious person by nature and still ask questions on a daily bases because I love to learn and experience new things. I think eating can be like that too, but many people get into a rut and eat the same foods everyday or the same way. There is way to much good stuff out there to be left unexperienced!
This brings me to last week, where I had been seeing beets everywhere at the market. So the other day I decided, on a whim, to get some. I hated beets growing up, absolutely hated them. But I’ve heard that taste buds change and develop over time so I decided to see if this was true. I brought a lovely bunch home, two golden and one red, and for the next couple days they sat. I had no idea what I wanted to make with them. First, I chopped off the greens and added them to some pasta. They reminded me of chard, not my favorite green to be honest, but the sauce was strong enough to mask their potency. I finally decided to roast the beets in the oven and serve them mixed with a vinaigrette and stuffed between french bread with goat cheese, onions, and pine nuts. As they were roasting, my mind drifted from the thought of a great lunch, where me and beets have finally settled our differences, to ugh, that smell drifting through the kitchen is making me lose my appetite. I did at least try the sandwich, but pretty much pulled all the beets right out. I guess I’m still not a beet eater, maybe in another ten years I’ll try again.
Mushrooms and I on the other hand, have been friends for a long time. In soups and stews, raw and grilled, or on pizza and in sandwiches, I like them most ways. But a new one for me was stuffed and roasted. Every time I go somewhere and somebody has made stuffed mushrooms, they always seem to be filled with crab or some meat product (I’m the only vegetarian in my family). I’d never really thought of making them for myself because they seemed like such a fuss, but I’m so glad I did.I love how mushrooms can remain so earthy, while still absorbing all the flavor of what ever their cooked with. Roasted, their outsides remain firm enough to hold the filling, but are tender to the bite. I had left over rice from the day before, which made these super quick to prepare. This makes more filling than you’ll need, but it made a great addition alone to my lunch the next day. The two of us ate these more as a meal with salad and soup than as an appetizer or first course for a party of four. This recipe can easily be doubled or even tripled if you need more.
This is exactly the reason I keep trying new foods and new ways of preparing them, because even though it doesn’t always turn out (beets), I still come out ahead with something great. Have you tried anything recently that you hadn’t since you were young? Was the experience a good one or bad?
12 cremini or button mushrooms
1 cup cooked brown rice
3 tablespoons feta
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped
salt and pepper
Preheat oven to broil.
Place rice, feta, garlic, and parsley in a bowl, stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
Remove all the stems from the mushrooms, discard or save and add to another meal some other day. I’ve found the easiest way to remove the stems is to grab the stem in between your thumb and pointer and middle finger, then give a slight twist and pull up. They come out much nicer than trying to cram a knife into their side.
Place them stem side down on a baking sheet and brush with olive oil. Sprinkle sea salt over the top and place in the oven about 4 inches from the top for about 2 or 3 minutes.
When they are done pull them out and flip them over. Fill with the rice mixture, this can get messy but just push it all in, and broil until the filling is hot, about 2 minutes. Serve warm from the oven.