These delectable and versatile morsels can be served as an appetizer or a light meal. If you don’t have full-fat ricotta cheese you may substitute whey ricotta or part-skim ricotta or, for a very extravagant flavor, cream cheese. No kale? No problem. Use spinach or Swiss chard instead. No fresh greens? Use frozen, defrosted spinach. Vegetarian? Omit the bacon. Any way you fix them, you’ll get rave reviews.
- 1-1/2 pounds large mushrooms (large baby bells or small portabellas work well)
- 1 cup full-fat fresh ricotta cheese (preferably homemade)
- 1/2 cup grated fresh parmesan cheese
- 3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese (preferably homemade)
- 1 large pastured egg
- 3 slices uncooked bacon
- 1/2 medium onion, chopped fine
- 1 pound (approximately) fresh baby kale, spinach, or chard, chopped (about 8 cups or use a 1-pound package of frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry)
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 clove garlic, crushed or minced fine
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt (start with the lesser amount and adjust to taste)
- Fresh ground pepper, optional
- Dash of cayenne pepper, optional
- Wash and dry mushrooms; remove stems and set caps aside. Chop stems finely and set aside.
- Wash kale (or other greens) and spin or pat dry; chop and set aside.
- Chop onion; set aside
- Dice bacon into small pieces. Fry in a heavy skillet until crispy; remove with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel. Set aside. Reserve bacon fat for sautéing vegetables.
- Sauté onions and mushroom stems in the bacon drippings. For vegetarian version, use 2 tablespoons ghee for sautéing. When onions are soft and mushrooms have released most of their liquid, stir in oregano, chopped greens, and garlic. Continue to cook and stir until greens are wilted and most of the liquid has evaporated. Salt to taste and set aside to cool for 10 minutes. Add freshly ground pepper and cayenne, if desired.
- In a large bowl, combine cheeses and egg. Stir in cooled mushroom mixture. Fold in cooked chopped bacon. Spoon filling into mushroom caps. Place filled mushrooms into a 9x13-inch baking dish. Bake at 350°F (177°C) for 30 to 40 minutes, until mushrooms are soft and filling is set. Remove from pan, discard cooking liquid, and serve hot, warm, or cold.
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