I fell in love on Wednesday. Twice.
Sitting opposite a lovely new friend at lunch, I felt a tiny presence at the left side of my chair. I looked down into a radiant smile from the toddler who had ventured from his mama’s side on a nearby couch. He wandered back and forth from me to mom several times before deciding to climb up and sit with me.
I gave him a little boost, and he turned so he could see his mother as he settled his back against my side, and relaxed against me. Instantly, I was transported back a quarter century, the sense memory of my own children’s tiny bodies next to mine. Sweet peace for my tender heart.
That evening, Bob and I took our after dinner walk and saw a sudden movement on a hillock beside our road. A tiny kitten? The little animal turned and sat down, looked at us intently, checking us out as we focused back. Fox. We watched each other for long seconds and then the baby “spoke,” a sound I can only describe as a bark. The vocalization was answered from within the hill. Mama? Our new friend quickly returned to his den, but we’ve seen him several times since. We are entranced, spending a lot of time near the burrow, hoping for another encounter with “our” baby.
I’m sure, like me, your heart opens in spring, making room for new life and new love. The recipe I share with you this week is loaded with fresh, bright flavor and plenty of green. It is based on a recipe from Cook’s Country, with a few of my characteristic modifications. Enjoy it and fall in love!!
Spinach Stuffed Portobellos
Serves 4 as an appetizer or side, 2 as a main course.
Remove the gills from the mushrooms with a spoon. Gluten free panko work well here.
4 medium portobellos, gills removed
2 baby or 1 small leeks, cleaned and diced
1 ½ cups baby spinach
¾ cup panko
zest of 1 lemon
1 ½ oz. feta, crumbled
2 tbs. olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
fresh mint for garnish, optional
Preheat oven to 450°. Line a sheet pan with parchment. Brush the mushrooms with 1 tsp. of the oil, sprinkle them with salt and pepper, and place them, gill side down, on the sheet. Roast for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and turn the mushrooms over.
While the mushrooms roast, saute the leeks in the remaining oil over med-high heat until they begin the soften, about 5 minutes. Add the panko and continue to cook until the crumbs begin to brown, about 4 more minutes. Add the spinach and cook until wilted, 2 or 3 minutes. Off heat, add the zest and cheese, and stir to combine.
Divide the stuffing mixture between the mushroom caps. Return to oven and bake for 7-8 minutes, until the stuffing is well browned and piping hot. Serve with or without mint.
Blog note: Aren’t these new white porcelain dishes gorgeous? Perfect for food styling! Find some of them on Propped!