Here is a warm and satisfying twist on a classic Caprese salad. Fresh basil doesn’t hold up well to heat, so pesto sauce is used instead. You can used prepared pesto for this recipe, but for best results, try it with this fresh basil pesto recipe (below).
You can use either fresh or dried mozzarella in this recipe. Fresh is really delicious and it melts beautifully, but it has a higher moisture content. As a result, there may be some excess moisture in the pan after baking.
Preparation Tip: To prepare the mushroom caps, gently remove stems by hand. Then, scoop out the gills with a spoon and discard. This will give you more room to add your toppings, plus it will remove any residual grit.
Yield: 6 stuffed mushrooms
Total Prep Time: 20 minutes
6 large Portobello mushroom caps, stems and gills removed
3 T. extra virgin olive oil
6 oz. fresh or shredded mozzarella cheese
½ pint grape tomatoes, washed, dried, and cut in half
½ c. fresh or bottled pesto*
Salt and pepper, to taste
Aged balsamic vinegar or glaze
Fresh Basil Pesto
This versatile, no-cook sauce can be enjoyed with many of your favorite pasta, fish, chicken, soup, or vegetable recipes.
Most modern recipes, including this one, call for making pesto with a food processor to combine the ingredients. This method works well, but produces a very homogenized final result.
For a more traditional approach, try hand-chopping the individual ingredients. The individual components will be less uniform, resulting in more distinct individual flavors among bites.
2 c. fresh basil, loosely packed
¼ c. toasted pine nuts
2–3 garlic cloves, peeled (amount based on personal taste and strength of garlic variety used).
1/3 c. plus 2 T. really good extra virgin olive oil
2/3 c. Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
Salt and pepper, to taste
Remove basil leaves from stems, then wash and pat dry. Add basil, pine nuts, and peeled garlic gloves to food processor or blender. Quickly pulse until barely combined, then add 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil and blend thoroughly.
Transfer to a medium glass bowl. Stir in Parmesan cheese and remaining olive oil to achieve the desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Use immediately. Freeze leftovers in ice cube trays covered with a layer of olive oil. Once frozen, remove “pesto cubes” from trays and store in freezer-safe plastic bags for future use in soups or stews.
Let's make some delicious Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms!
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. With a pastry brush, brush olive oil on outside of each mushroom cap, and around the interior and edges.