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Friday, February 20, 2009

Portabella Mushrooms with Mozzarella

4 large, firm portobello mushroom caps, stems & gills removed
3/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
12-16 small, fresh mozzarella balls
(if you can’t find fresh mozzarella, use a block and cut into ½” cubes)
1/4 cup pimento strips or sundried tomatoes in oil
1/4 cup sliced black olives
4 Tbsp pesto sauce
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Fresh basil leaves

Preheat oven to 375ºF.

1. REMOVE any dirt from mushroom caps with a damp towel and place in a shallow plate, tops down.
2. POUR oil and balsamic vinegar over caps and allow to marinate for 1 hour.
3. BAKE caps in oven at for 8-10 minutes, tops up (if there is any excess moisture, it will drain out of the mushroom when baking instead of pooling inside, causing the mushroom to become soggy).
4. CUT mozzarella balls in half and place in a bowl. Add pimento or sundried tomato, olives, pesto, salt and pepper and stir.
HINT: For increased mushroom flavor, finely chop and sauté mushroom stems in olive oil and add to filling mixture.
5. FILL each cap with the mixture and drizzle with marinade. Bake caps for 8-10 minutes more, or until most of the cheese is melted.
6. GARNISH with fresh basil leaves and serve.

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