Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

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STUFFED Portobello Mushrooms

4 portobello mushrooms, try to find all the same size
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
6 oz. baby spinach, rinsed but not dried
pinch salt and nutmeg
¾ cup - 1 cup tomato sauce, jarred or homemade
¾ cup-1 cup grated mozzarella, fontina or mild cheddar
2 Tablespoons grated parmiggiano-reggiano
extra virgin olive oil
extra ground pepper

Prep the mushrooms:
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
Using a sharp paring knife, slice off the stems, reserving for stock if you like. On some paper towels, use a spoon to scrape the black gills from the undersides of each mushroom. Rinse or wipe with more paper towels to remove any left over gills.
On a large rimmed sheet pan, place all of the mushrooms cap side down. Drizzle each with ½ Tablespoon and brush or use your fingers to coat the tops. Flip them over, cap side up, and drizzle each with another ½ Tablespoon of the oil. Lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes. When done, pour off any juices that have accumulated inside the caps. Keep the oven on and reduce temperature to 425 degrees F.

Make the spinach while the caps roast:
In a large saute pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the washed spinach and a pinch of salt and stir constantly until wilted, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle with a pinch of nutmeg, stir and set aside.

Stuff the mushrooms:
Spread with 3-4 Tablespoons of the tomato sauce inside each cap. Divide the spinach between the mushrooms. Sprinkle with 3-4 Tablespoons of the mozzarella and 1/2 Tablespoon of the parmesan. If using, sprinkle each with a pinch of dried oregano that you’ve rubbed between your fingers first. Then lightly drizzle with olive oil and a grind of black pepper.
Broil the mushrooms until the cheese is melted and lightly browned, about 5 minutes. If using, place a few thinly torn pieces of fresh basil on top of each cap.
Makes 4 servings.      YUM!

LESSONS Learned:
1. Always buy them loose, so that you can pick the freshest ones.
2. Look for plump rounded edges, with gills on the underside of the mushroom that are dry, not wet and mushy.
3. To clean them, first scrape out the gills, over some paper towels for easy clean-up, and then wipe any dirt off with a damp paper towel. Sometimes I just rinse them off, but supposedly they’ll absorb water that way.
4. Use a paring knife to cut off the stems. They’re too woody to eat, but you could freeze them and save for stock.