Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Roasted Flat Mushrooms with Spiced Pumpkin & Chickpea Stuffing

This recipe came from a cookbook I recently found - Cooking with Pumpkins and Squash by Brian Glover. Glover, an English chef, has written several books highlighting one ingredient per book. I find his recipes well researched and this one is no exception. The picture in the book shows one mushroom cap at very close range and I didn't notice that the mushrooms were supposed to be portobellos until after I bought regular mushrooms. They worked beautifully but left me with lots of the delicious filling which I ate for lunch.

I used fresh pumpkin because we had a few days of warm weather and it took a heavy toll on the pumpkins in the garage. I made six recipes this past weekend all using fresh in order to use them up, but I think you could substitute a can of pumpkin puree.

Roasted Flat Mushrooms with Spiced Pumpkin & Chickpea Stuffing
Serves 4

1 small pumpkin (about 2 pounds) peeled, seeded and diced
5-6 tablespoons olive oil
a small bunch of thyme
1/4 tsp dried hot pepper flakes
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 14oz can chickpeas, drained
1 tsp cumin
lemon juice
1-2 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley
1-2 tbsp creme fraiche or heavy cream (optional)
8 large, flat portobello mushrooms, stalks removed
1/4 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
sea salt and freshly ground pepper

for the sauce
1 garlic clove
a pinch of coarse sea salt
3-4 tbsp tahini
freshly squeezed lemon juice
4-5 tbsps plain yogurt
1 tbsp chopped mint

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Toss the pumpkin with 3 tbsps of the oil, 1 tsp chopped thyme, the hot pepper flakes and garlic. Season and put on a baking sheet. Cover with foil and cook in the for about 30 minutes until tender, then uncover and cook for a further 10 minutes. let cool and put in a food processor with the chickpeas. Whizz to make a rough puree. Season to taste with salt, pepper, cumin and lemon juice, then stir in the parsley. If the puree is very dry, add the creme fraiche or a little water.

Meanwhile, put the mushrooms, gill-side up on an oiled baking sheet. Season and sprinkle with a few thyme leaves. Drizzle with the remaining oil and a good squeeze of lemon juice. Roast, uncovered, at 425 for 15 minutes until just cooked. Remove from oven and reduce the heat to 375.

Distribute the stuffing between the mushrooms. Scatter with the pumpkin seeds and a few thyme sprigs. Spoon over a little of the mushroom cooking juices, then return them to the oven for 10 minutes to heat through. To make the sauce, mash the garlic with the salt in a bowl, then gradually work in 3 tbsps tahini, followed by 1 tsp lemon juice. When smooth, gradually work in the yogurt, then taste and add more lemon juice and/or tahini as necessary. Stir in the mint and serve with the mushrooms.

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