We are lucky enough to live within walking distance of a number of friends in our neighborhood in south Boulder. We have long toyed with the idea of doing a progressive dinner at our respective houses, and finally, last Saturday, we made the magic happen! We chose a theme of Italy 1962, and dressed and cooked accordingly.
My job was simple—I was the first house, so I was responsible for appetizers, and tried to go out of my way to make them special. Of course I turned to Giada De Laurentiis for inspiration, since she’s got a way of making simple ingredients taste great. (You can find her original recipe here.) I served these with some edamame-arugula crostini (I’ll post that recipe later), as well as some simple prosciutto-wrapped asparagus. Voila! Delightful Italian summer afternoon fare.
One note was that I wished I had worked harder to find large button mushrooms—some of them were so small it was hard to fit any stuffing in! And use your hands to pull out the mushroom stems—it will pull out in one piece and create a nice little cavity for your filling.
1/2 cup jarred Roasted Red Peppers, diced
1/2 cup pitted Green Olives, diced
1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
2 Scallions, diced
2 tbsp Olive Oil
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Black Pepper
1 pound large White Button Mushrooms, cleaned and stemmed
1/4 cup Fresh Basil Leaves, finely chopped
Preheat the oven to 400* F.
In a medium bowl, combine the roasted red bell peppers, olives, cheese, scallions, olive oil, salt and pepper.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and place the mushrooms, cavity side up, on top. Spoon the filling into the mushrooms, and bake until the mushrooms are tender, about 20 minutes.
Transfer the mushrooms to a serving platter, sprinkle with chopped basil and serve.