First of all, let me start by saying: how AMAZING are mushrooms?? Seriously, the way they absolutely TRANSFORM when cooked (properly) from spongy, bland and rubbery to the tastiest and most gloriously complex flavoured little things ever is just ASTOUNDING to me.
To make these babies, you first roast the Portobello mushroom caps all by themselves, gill-side-up for about 20 minutes. This is where the magic happens.
You see that gorgeous shimmery dark liquid that seemingly appeared out of nowhere at all and formed little pools of yumminess in each mushroom? This liquid is SO DELICIOUS YOU GUYS! Don’t you dare throw that away, this stuff is tastier than any sort of broth or stock you can possibly make. Have a little taste and be astonished.
Then you mix up this crumbly, salty, garlicy topping. It has fresh breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, garlic and thyme in it. How can you not love this? I am seriously brainstorming new recipes to top this stuff with or else I’ll start making it and eating it all by itself with a spoon. Seriously, it’s like crispy, cheesy crack.
Pile it onto your lovely roast mushies. It will instantly soak up that gorgeous mushroom liquid and become 10 times more delicious than it already is.
Bake again for just 10 minutes or so, until the topping is golden, and there you have it! One of the most scrumptious little veggie sides you will ever make. They are also incredibly impressive and easy to prepare for when you have people over for dinner. Just roast the mushrooms and prepare your topping in advance, and then do the final step just 10 minutes before serving dinner! SO simple!
I do realize that large Portobello mushrooms aren’t readily available everywhere, especially back in Cairo. The good news is that you can make this with regular button mushroom caps, and they are just as delicious. The larger mushrooms are just less fiddly to stuff and easier to handle…perfect for lazier souls like myself.
It also goes without saying that you can play around with the types of herbs and cheese you add to the topping to suit your own tastebuds.
In other news…Ramadan is just around the corner! Just about a week to go, and I am overwhelmed with mixed emotions.
I adore Ramadan, always have…but being away from home during this most special of months is pretty depressing. Ramadan is all about family, gatherings and togetherness. Being so far away sucks big time, and even though the fact that it is winter down here in Australia definitely makes fasting easier and less physically straining, nothing makes up for the lack of Ramadan spirit and non-existent festivities.
Naturally, I will throw myself into the food side of things to cheer myself up! Hah!
Ask any Muslim and they’ll tell you: Ramadan is the ULTIMATE food-coma month. It is filled to the brim with feasts of epic proportions and lovely middle-eastern sweets and traditional dishes. I can’t wait to share some of that with you all, in hopes of reviving the spirit of Ramadan in this little online space I have come to find so much happiness in.
Meanwhile, enjoy this recipe and prepare your tastebuds for our online Ramadan feast!
Ramadan Kareem everyone <3
- • 4 large Portobello mushrooms*
- FOR THE TOPPING:
- • ⅔ cups fresh bread crumbs (any stale bread whizzed up in a food processor. I used wholewheat sourdough)
- • 4 tbsp. grated parmesan cheese
- • 2 tbsp. fresh thyme leaves or 1 tbsp. dried
- • 1 clove garlic, minced
- • 3 tbsp. olive oil
- • ¼ tsp. salt
- Preheat oven to 200 C (400 F)
- Place mushroom caps (stems removed) gill-side-up onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush lightly with olive oil & sprinkle with a bit of salt and roast in the oven for 20 minutes. When cooked, they will have some liquid pooling inside the caps; don’t throw this liquid away!
- While the mushrooms are roasting, mix all the ingredients for the topping in a bowl. When the mushrooms are cooked, remove from the oven and top each with a fourth of the topping mixture.
- Return to the oven and bake for 7-12 minutes, until the topping is lovely and golden. Serve immediately.