One of the best ways to use mushrooms, such as crimini and portabella, is to use the cap as part of an open-faced sandwich, topping it with whatever you like. I often make mushroom pizza with a portabella mushroom “crust”. It saves the carbs and the time! For this recipe, I used crimini mushrooms, which work well for bite-sized appetizers or snacks, and I topped each mushroom with chopped canned pickled beets, herb goat cheese and lemon garlic vinaigrette, all garnished with chopped parsley. The result is irresistibly colorful and packed with just the right amount of bite from the pickled beets and creaminess from the herbed goat cheese.
Crimini mushrooms (also called “baby bellas”): have only 3-4 calories per one, are low in carbohydrates and sodium, are an excellent source of cancer-fighting selenium, reduce blood pressure and risk of stroke, are a good source of B-vitamins, contain tryptophan, which is essential to create vitamin B-3 and helps control sleep pattern and mood swings, help to prevent breast cancer and contain a high amount of antioxidant L-ergothioneine, which is important in protecting from UV and radiation as well as contributing to the liver’s detoxification abilities.
Cook Time: 10 minutes
For the Base
- 8-10 crimini mushrooms, stemmed
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup canned pickled beets, chopped
- 1-2 ounces herb goat cheese
- Chopped parsley for garnish
For the Vinaigrette
- 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- Juice of half a lemon
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
Begin by washing the crimini mushrooms with a wet towel. You don’t want to run them under the sink, since the mushrooms will absorb the water and compromise the flavor later.
Stem the mushrooms and place them top-side down on a baking sheet. Season with salt and pop into the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes, or until they are soft, but not mushy or completely without some stature.
Meanwhile, whisk together 3 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil with the juice of half a lemon. To the mix, add the garlic clove chopped as finely as possible. Dice the pickled beets.
To serve, top each crimini cap with the pickled beets, a teaspoon of the lemon garlic vinaigrette and crumbled herbed goat cheese. Garnish with chopped parsley.
The dish is decidedly earthy, but there is enough tang from the pickled beets to bring some oomph. The garlic isn’t shy either.