Spinach and Artichoke Stuffed Portabello Mushrooms with Tomato and Bread Salad
- 8 portabello mushroom caps
- Extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing mushrooms, plus 1/4 cup
- 1 (10-ounce) box frozen chopped spinach, defrosted
- 1 can quartered artichoke hearts, drained well
- 1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 clove garlic, grated with microplane or small side box grater
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Freshly grated nutmeg, about 1/8 teaspoon
- 1/2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, a couple of handfuls
- 6 plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves, about 20, torn
- 4 cups crusty bread, torn or coarsely chopped
- 1 small red onion, very thinly sliced
Tidbit: Panzanella, stale bread salad, requires that you soak and wring out the bread before assembling the salad. If you make this with fresh crusty bread or the bread has staled a bit but not hardened, the juice from the tomatoes should be enough to tenderize the bread's crusty edges.
Preheat grill to medium-high and oven to 425 degrees F.
Using a damp towel, brush mushroom caps to clean. Using a pastry brush, coat the caps with extra-virgin olive oil and grill with lid down or roast about 5 to 6 minutes, turning once, until tender but still firm at center.
Remove mushroom caps from grill.
To portion-control the filling, divided the stuffing into 4 parts then just split each of those evenly between 2 caps. Sprinkle the caps with Parmigiano and cook 5 to 6 minutes more in the preheated oven to set filling and lightly brown tops.
Do not seed tomatoes. Chop and place in a salad bowl. Add basil, bread, onions, 1/4 cup EVOO, lots of salt and pepper and toss with your hands to combine.
Serve 2 caps with a pile of salad alongside, if desired, per person.