Stuffed Mushrooms

My grandmother used to make stuffed mushrooms all the time for parties. I loved them (still do) and learned how to make them by watching her cook – the measurements for the recipe below are ones I figured out working backwards while cooking by my usual “eyeballing” method. Because I associated stuffed mushrooms so strongly with my grandma, I assumed they were a family thing. When I started looking through old cook books, though, I discovered stuffed mushroom recipes all over the place. The 50s and 60s were all about cute little canapes and hors d’oeuvres, and stuffed mushrooms were apparently a classic and a favorite. I still love my grandma’s recipe, though – it’s just a simple breadcrumb stuffing, but it’s tasty and has a great texture.   The cheese is my addition: it gives a great umami punch. These mushrooms work as either an appetizer or a vegetable side dish. So…both family-vintage and vintage-vintage…here they are:

Stuffed Mushrooms (Serves 6)

2 10-oz. packages white mushrooms
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 large cloves garlic, minced
3 tbsp. chopped parsley
1/4 c. breadcrumbs
2 tbsp. grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese, plus extra for topping

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Gently pull out mushroom stems, leaving caps intact. Set the caps aside and mince the stems.
2. Heat the oil in a medium skillet and add the garlic; cook 30 seconds or so until it becomes fragrant. Add the parsley and mushroom stems and cook for about 3-4 minutes until they soften and cook down. Toss in the breadcrumbs; remove from heat and add the grated cheese.
3. Grease a pan big enough to hold the mushroom caps (I used a 10-inch Corningware). Overstuff the mushroom caps with the breadcrumb mixture and place stuffing-up in the pan. Drizzle olive oil over (or spray with an oil mister) and grate a little cheese on top.
4. Bake about 30 minutes until the stuffing starts to brown on top.

Update: My mom wrote after I posted this to remind me 1) that this recipe usually takes oregano as well as parsley, and 2) that it came from our family friend Marie (a seriously amazing Italian cook – she hosted the million-course Christmas Eve meal I talked about here).