One of the reasons I love the holidays are the multitude of gatherings with family and friends. Typically this time of year leaves most of us strapped for time meaning most gatherings tend to be potlucks. This is yet another reason why I love the holidays.
Many of you have asked me for appetizer ideas to bring to your gatherings. Some of my favourites include bacon wrapped water chestnuts, roasted garlic with a fresh baguette, hummus and tzatziki with lemon oregano flatbread, and tabouleh; a Christmas staple with my group of friends.
The ultimate appetizer for me (besides my mum’s baked brie) is stuffed mushrooms. They are simple, can be made vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, or meat friendly, and they are the perfect bite size. You can use many different types of mushrooms as well, although I tend to prefer using button mushrooms.
For this recipe I brought myself back to my vegetarian days. (I’ve always loved cheese too much to become a full fledged vegan.) Combining a variety of Italian cheeses with roasted garlic, sun-dried tomatoes and roasted red peppers created a rich and flavourful appetizer perfect for any occasion.
Have a great weekend everyone, I’m off to California!
- 24 ounces, white button mushrooms
- ½ Cup bread crumbs, divided
- 1 roasted red pepper, finely diced
- cloves from one roasted garlic bulb (about 12) roughly chopped
- 2 Tbsp. kalamata olives, diced
- 1 medium onion, finely diced
- 3 Tbsp. sun-dried tomatoes, finely diced
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 8oz package of 1/3 fat cream cheese
- ¼ cup mozzarella, grated
- ¼ cup Provolone, grated
- ¼ cup Asiago, grated
- 1 tbsp. Parmesan
- 1 tbsp. Romano
- pinch red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp. dried oregano
- 2 tbsp. mozzarella for topping
Preheat oven to 350
Clean mushrooms and remove the stems. Lightly oil mushroom caps and place on a greased cookie sheet. Finely dice mushroom stems, set aside.
In a large bowl combine cream cheese, cheeses, half the dried bread crumbs, red pepper flakes and dried oregano. Stir until well combined. Salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
Over medium heat, sauté onions in olive oil until translucent. Add diced mushroom stems and continue to sauté for one minute. Stir in roasted garlic, olives, roasted red peppers, and sun-dried tomatoes Cook until thoroughly heated.
Add sautéed vegetables to the reserved cream cheese mixture. Stir to combine.
Scoop one tablespoon of mixture into prepared mushroom caps. Sprinkle with remaining bread crumbs and mozzarella cheese.
Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until browned. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.