Stuffed with a punchy pesto, these umami-laced mushrooms alone can take an appetizer tray from meh to memorable. If you need to make these dairy-free for allergic or intolerant guests, you can add cheesy essence to the pesto by using nutritional yeast in lieu of Parmesan. Both the mushrooms and pesto can be made a day or two in advance, but the mushrooms are best reheated before being stuffed with the pesto.
1/2 cup (125 mL) shelled unsalted pistachios, plus more for garnish
2 cups (500 mL) arugula
1/2 cup (125 mL) flat-leaf parsley
1/3 cup (80 mL) grated Parmesan cheese
2 garlic cloves, chopped
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
1/4 cup (60 mL) extra-virgin olive oil or camelina oil
1 lb (450 g) cremini mushrooms, stems removed
2 tsp (10 mL) grapeseed oil
For pesto, finely grind pistachios in food processor. Pulse in arugula, parsley, Parmesan cheese, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, and salt into coarse paste. With machine running, slowly pour in olive or camelina oil through feed tube until incorporated.
Preheat oven to 375 F (190 C).
Arrange mushrooms, stem side down, on parchment paper-lined baking sheet and brush tops with grapeseed oil. Bake for 7 minutes, or until tender. Turn mushrooms over and dab insides with paper towel to remove excess moisture.
To serve, fill each mushroom cap with pesto and top with chopped pistachios.
Serves 8 to 10.
Each serving contains: 152 calories; 5 g protein; 13 g total fat (2 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 6 g total carbohydrates (2 g sugars, 2 g fibre); 128 mg sodium
source: "Pickup Artists", alive #386, December 2014
Inspired by its creamy Italian cousin, this vegetarian take on panna cotta swaps out the cream and gelatin for coconut milk and agar agar. Odourless and tasteless, agar-agar is a plant-based thickener derived from seaweed. It’s also a wonderful source of iron, fibre, and magnesium. If you plan on transporting these desserts, pour panna cotta into small jam jars. Once set, screw lids on top and place garnish in separate container. Once you reach your destination, simply garnish and serve.
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