Lately I have been noticing more and more how different my children are from one another. It’s something that never ceases to amaze me, although, scientifically, it really should not come as a surprise. Like the topography of their fingerprints, my son and my daughter are uniquely their own little persons. And with the passing of each day, I see how they are blessed with different talents.
I also see how they are blessed (or I may sometimes argue, cursed) with different tastebuds.
My son eats nearly any vegetable, and nearly any fruit. He loves juice and gags at the blandness of water. Give him a Brussels sprout, and he will rejoice. But offer him a mushroom and his nose will scrunch up. He will eat the meatball and leave the pasta.
My daughter, on the other hand, will take his pasta and give him her meatball. She cringes at celery and quivers at spinach. But she will eat nearly any tropical fruit. And drink lots of water. And she will cheer at the sight of mushrooms.
Mushrooms and my daughter get along. So when I prepared these Chestnut & Lentil Stuffed Mushrooms, I already knew who would be eating them with me.
These stuffed mushrooms make a perfect party appetizer as you can easily make the tasty stuffing and prepare the dish in advance. Sweet chestnuts join hearty lentils and salty pancetta in a stuffing that is so savory, it is fantastic to entertain your guests. But if your kids are anything like my daughter, then they will love these bites, too.
Chestnut & Lentil Stuffed Mushrooms
- 20 medium mushrooms
- 4 oz pancetta, minced
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 shallots, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup cooked chestnuts, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup cooked lentils
- 1/3 cup parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Remove stems from mushrooms. Place the mushroom caps in a baking dish lightly brushed with olive oil. Trim off the ends of stems and discard. Finely chop the stems.
Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add the pancetta, butter, and shallots and cook for several minutes, or until the pancetta begins to brown and the shallots are translucent. Stir in the salt, pepper, chestnuts, and lentils. Adjust seasoning. Stir in the parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs and remove from heat.
Stuff each mushroom with about 1 tablespoon of the stuffing. Place in the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the mushrooms are tender and the stuffing is browned. Sprinkle with additional parmesan cheese if desired. Serve immediately.