That's a mouthful!
Last weekend I had some good friends over for a good meal all centered around this amazing pizza that I received as a gift. I wanted appetizers that would typically accompany a pizza, but I wanted them to be fancier. The night before my dinner party I had deep fried mushrooms at a local college pub, which inspired these puppies. And, if I dare say so myself, they were delicious.
Sauteed Spinach and Cheese...eh, you know the rest...
Make enough for 8 guests
18 small portabella mushrooms
1 lb of baby spinach
1/2 of a small yellow onion
2 cloves of garlic
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup of grated cheese (mozzarella, parmesan, asiago. Think soft and hard.)
Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large saute pan over medium-low heat. Add the finely chopped onions and sprinkle with a touch of salt and pepper. Let the onions cook for 5 minutes or until they begin to become a bit translucent, stirring occasionally. Add the minced garlic and cook for a minute. Then add the entire pound of washed baby spinach. Sprinkle with more salt and pepper. Toss to coat with olive oil. Add a bit more olive oil if there is not enough liquid in the pan, you don't want the spinach to stick. Cover and let the spinach saute and reduce until you have about 1 1/2 cups of cooked spinach. Put the spinach in a bowl and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
While the spinach is cooling, prepare the portabella caps. Remove the stem from each cap and clean the caps thoroughly. Place the caps upside down on a large baking sheet lined with aluminum foil (the recycled kind). Drizzle a few drops of olive oil on each cap.
Add the grated cheese to the cooled spinach and give it a good toss to mix. Fill each mushroom cap with about a tablespoon of the mixture.
Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly.
Use a damp towel to remove any dirt from a mushroom cap. This will help prevent the mushroom from absorbing too much water. Mushrooms will absorb a large amount of water if rinsed directly under the tap. This may result in soggy mushrooms after baking.
Make sure the sauteed spinach is cooled before you add the cheese. You don't want the cheese to melt before you put the mushrooms in the oven.