Surprise! See, I do make things without cheese, meat, potatoes or bacon! I also tried to go carb-free but failed. These cute little bites are easy and so fast to prepare. Warm, juicy mushrooms stuffed with crunchy golden, salty panko. These are the kind of bites that carnivores don’t even think of as vegetarian.
“These little babies look fiddly, but they aren’t at all. They take just 10 minutes to pop a whole tray of them into the oven.”
It dawned on me recently that the homepage of my blog was very “yellow” and “red”. I mentioned this to my mother and she instantly said, “Yes, it is. Because most of your recipes have cheese, carbs and meat in them. That’s so typical of you.” The way she said it was that tone of voice that implied “DUH. Didn’t you know?”
I scrolled back over the last couple of months and was pretty shocked to realise how much of my recipes are dominated by cheese, bread/noodles/rice/potatoes, chicken and bacon. Even the (few) salads I posted had cheese or carbs of some form in them!
You must think that this is how I live. On cheese, meat and carbs.
So I thought I had better post a vegetarian cheese free dish. I really did aim to get inspired to make something that was also carb free, but I just resist sharing these cute little Panko and Herb Stuffed Mushrooms. Aren’t they adorable? I know they look fiddly, but I promise they aren’t at all. I don’t do fiddly, remember?
“These are a great light lunch or side. But they’re also great as an appetiser you can pass around at a party because you can pop the whole mushroom in your mouth.”
These babies are the perfect size for popping straight into your mouth so they would even make a great appetiser you can pass around at a party. When you bite into them, the warm juicy mushroom bursts and mixes in with the golden crunchy, salty panko. They are just divine. These are the kind of bites that could turn a carnivore into a vegetarian.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to continue demolishing this entire plate. This is my lunch. Oomph, I am going to be so full.
- 10 oz / 300 g button mushrooms
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs (note 1)
- 2 garlic cloves , minced
- 1 tbsp finely chopped parsley
- 1/2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves , chopped (or 1/4 tsp dried thyme) (see notes)
- 2 to 3 pinches of salt (to your taste)
- Black pepper
Preheat oven to 180C/350F.
Break the stalks off the mushrooms, being careful to keep the caps in one piece.
Pile the caps into a baking dish or tray. Drizzle over 1 tbsp olive oil and toss to coat. Spread the mushrooms out on the tray, cup side up.
Finely chop the stalks.
Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a fry pan over medium high heat.
Add the mushroom stalks and garlic and sauté for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes until softened.
Add the panko bread crumbs and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes until it becomes a light golden colour.
Remove pan from heat and toss through salt, pepper, parsley and thyme leaves.
Use a teaspoon to spoon panko filling into each mushroom cup. Don't worry about spillage! Just pile the filling into each cup as well as you can.
Drizzle over remaining 1 tbsp of olive oil and bake for approximately 10 minutes, or until the mushrooms are softened (but not soft. They will go soggy and lose their shape).
Serve warm or at room temperature.
1. This recipe needs to be made with panko breadcrumbs, not ordinary breadcrumbs. Ordinary breadcrumbs are too fine and will make a dense filling. If you don't have panko breadcrumbs, then either process very stale bread to make your own. Or if you won't have stale bread on hand, you can toast 2 pieces of white sandwich bread until very golden, then finely chop to make your own breadcrumbs (or whizz in a processor).
2. I made this with thyme because thyme goes so well with mushrooms. Oregano would also go great, or mixed herbs. I don't recommend rosemary - the flavour is too strong and will overpower the mushroom.
3. To make ahead, pan fry the panko filling, let it cool then store in an airtight container for up to 2 days. Store the mushrooms in the paper bag you purchased them in. When ready to cook, toss the mushrooms in oil, fill the mushroom caps with the panko filling and bake.
4. This recipe is not suitable for freezing. It is also not great to reheat as the mushrooms go soggy.
5. Nutrition analysis for 4 servings.