Stuffed Shiitake Mushrooms
Serves 4 as an appetizer
Shiitake mushrooms (as well as also-medicinal but much less tasty maitake and reishi mushrooms) have immune-boosting properties that help prevent the body from forming cancer cells. Though these mushrooms do not grow wild in the United States, they are so widely cultivated that most people can easily find a locally grown source. While potent shiitake extracts are available in capsule form, research suggests that eating cooked shiitakes is a good way to reap the mushrooms’ health benefits as well. Shiitakes with a rounded shape are much easier to stuff. Be sure to remove every last bit of the tough stems.
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/2 cup onion, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup red bell pepper, minced
1/2 cup whole-grain breadcrumbs
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
2 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon salt
16 medium shiitake mushrooms, stems removed
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium pan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Sauté onion, garlic and bell pepper for 5 to 10 minutes, until onions are soft and beginning to brown.
2. Remove onion mixture from heat and add to a mixing bowl with breadcrumbs, cheese, parsley, spices and salt. Add remaining olive oil as needed to moisten mixture. Stir to combine.
3. Place shiitakes on an oiled baking sheet and stuff each mushroom with the filling, pressing with a spoon.
4. Bake 20 minutes, until mushrooms are tender and filling is hot. Serve warm.