Here's an early '80s throwback you never thought you'd see in a cookbook called "Indian-ish": dainty, appetizer-size stuffed mushrooms. Except unlike most of the disappointing versions you've tried from the frozen section of the grocery store, my mom's are so addictive that several mushroom haters who recipe-tested this dish admitted to me that they'd polished off a whole tray of them. The secret is stuffing the mushrooms with more mushrooms -- specifically, chopped-up mushroom stems, which, along with quinoa, retain moisture and soak up the garlic juice and Parmesan cheese exceptionally well. If you've ever thought quinoa could only taste like bland rabbit food, this filling, which is basically like cheesy garlic bread in grain form, will change your mind. This recipe purposefully makes a little more filling than you need for stuffing the mushrooms, as it's perfect for snacking or taking for lunch the next day.
Remove the stems from the mushrooms. Set the caps aside, and finely chop the stems.
In a large pan over medium-high heat, warm the oil. Once the oil begins to shimmer, add the onion and chile and cook until the onion browns, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the chopped mushroom stems and cook until soft, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and let cool for 5 minutes. Add the cooked quinoa, Parmesan, cilantro, salt, and black pepper and stir to combine.
Arrange the mushroom caps on a baking sheet and, using a teaspoon, fill them with the quinoa mixture -- the filling should be spilling out of each cap.
Bake the stuffed mushrooms for 12 minutes, until slightly wilted and lightly browned on top. Let cool for about 5 minutes.
Drizzle each stuffed mushroom with a little olive oil before serving.
The mushroom caps should be small enough to eat in a single bite.