Filled with a delicious combination of finely chopped courgette, spinach and hazelnuts, then topped with grated Parmesan cheese and baked, these mushrooms make a very tasty, hard-to-resist party bite. They look their best if the mushrooms used are all about the same size.
Parmesan cheese is not truly vegetarian, as it contains animal rennet. To make this dish 100% vegetarian, omit the cheese or find a suitable vegetarian substitute made without animal rennet. In supermarkets look for the 'parmesan style hard cheeses' which are suitable for vegetarians.
For mushrooms stuffed with spring greens and walnuts, use spring greens in place of spinach, 1 red onion in place of shallots, chopped walnuts in place of hazelnuts, and fresh basil or coriander in place of parsley. * Make mushrooms with red pepper and pine nut filling. Sauté the mushroom stalks in 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil with 4 finely chopped spring onions, ½ small seeded and finely chopped red pepper and 1 crushed garlic clove for 5 minutes. Stir in 30 g (1 oz) chopped pine nuts, 15 g (½ oz) chopped watercress, 30 g (1 oz) fresh breadcrumbs, 2 tbsp finely chopped parsley, and salt and pepper to taste. Fill the mushroom caps with this mixture and sprinkle with 45 g (1½ oz) finely grated mozzarella cheese. Bake as in the main recipe.
Mushrooms provide useful amounts of some of the B vitamins and are a good source of the trace mineral copper. This mineral has several functions – it is found in many enzymes, and is needed for bone growth as well as for the formation of connective tissue. * Hazelnuts were known in China 5000 years ago and were also eaten by the Romans. They are a particularly good source of vitamin E and most of the B vitamins (with the exception of vitamin B12).
Useful source of selenium, vitamin E.