No, it's not a salad. Nor is it a filling for wontons. It's a stuffing for mushrooms! Though technically, it is possible for you to eat it as a salad and wrap it in wonton wrappers.
I LOVE mushrooms! Big or small, brown or white, fresh or dried, in pasta or on steamed fish, as long as it is fungi! Since young, I've been exceptionally in love with mushrooms. So I was very pleasantly surprised to find how huge and cheap button mushrooms were in Australia when I went on my second trip to Perth back in 2005 with my friends.
It wasn't the first time I went overseas without my parents (you know, school-based trips) but it was the first time I wasn't going to stay in a hotel room. That meant preparing for breakfast, lunch and dinner by ourselves. Boy, was I happy about that! You should, obviously, know by now that I love cooking. (Understatement of the year) And it didn't matter that I wasn't going to cook for only myself. My whole group of friends were separated into 3 apartments and I was about the only one who could really cook in mine. So I accepted, very happily, the appointment as a walking menu and prepared the meals for 5 girls, including 1 vegetarian, 1 almost-carnivore, 1 anti-carb dieter (yeah, that's me).
I was lucky. Even though all of us had our own dietary preferences and restrictions, we were at least very compromising and not very picky eaters. So, I spent my time, amidst art courses/programmes and shopping, conjuring up menus and planning lunchboxes.
With the abundance of fresh, beautiful mushrooms, I made my first stuffed mushrooms in that 2-bedroom apartment in Perth for my girls. I was running out of ideas and I had loads of mushrooms and potatoes. I remembered seeing someone make stuffed mushrooms on TV and I took it upon myself to recreate it. After 45mins of boiling and mashing potatoes, marinating mushrooms and baking them stuffed to the brim, I was delighted with my creation.
Their response, only made me happier.
1 punnet fresh Swiss Brown mushrooms
2 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp sugar
Mixed Italian herbs (oregano, rosemary, basil, etc.)
1 large russet potato
1 red onion
Salt and pepper to taste
Grated Parmesan cheese
- Rinse mushrooms quickly under running tap and wipe dry with cloth or kitchen towel. Remove the stems but do not discard.
- Combine ingredients for marinate in a bowl large enough and toss in mushrooms to coat well. Leave to marinate until ready to use, stirring lightly with a spoon occasionally.
- Put potato in a saucepan of water high enough to cover the whole potato and cook till tender, about 15 mins after water starts to boil.
- Preheat oven to 220 deg C.
- When potato is cooked, let cool, peel and mash with a fork.
- Chop mushroom stems and onion finely, add to mashed potato and mix well.
- Season to taste with salt, pepper and herbs.
- Stuff mushrooms with filling to get a rounded top.
- Drizzle remaining marinate onto the stuffed mushrooms and top with a generous sprinkle of grated Parmesan.
- Grease a baking tray with olive oil and bake the mushrooms for 20 - 25 mins until mushrooms are soft and cheese is browned.
- Serve hot!