A great medley of flavours and textures!
I’ve always liked to think of zucchini as the perfect blank canvas for other flavours (this delectable, easy zucchini ‘noodle’ dish is a great example). With this new recipe, I’ve found another way to throw zucchini on our plates and it has also proven to be a huge hit. You can make it in under 30 minutes and while it’s a great meatless meal on its own, it’d also be a fantastic side for grilled fish or meat. Use whatever pesto you like; I’m partial to basil but grilled garlic scape pesto would be terrific too. If you wanted to serve this as an appetizer, substitute smaller cremini or white mushrooms for the portobellos.
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) quinoa (I prefer red quinoa for its nice colour)
- 1 cup (250 mL) water
- pinch salt
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) olive oil
- 3 tablespoons (45 mL) balsamic
- 4 Portobello mushroom caps
- 1 small zucchini
- 1/2 orange or red bell pepper
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) pesto
- lemon wedges (to serve)
- Preheat barbeque to medium-hot.
- While barbeque heats, put quinoa and water in a small saucepan, cover, and bring to a boil. Immediately reduce heat to minimum and let cook for 15 – 20 minutes until all water is absorbed.
- While quinoa cooks, put olive oil and balsamic in a small jar with a tight lid and shake until well blended.
- With a small knife (a grapefruit knife is ideal) cut the stems and some of the gills out of the Portobellos to form a bit of a hollow in the middle, being careful not to cut all the way through.
- Slice zucchini lengthwise into four thin strips and cut pepper into two pieces.
- Brush both sides of the vegetables with the olive oil and balsamic mixture, being sure to thoroughly coat the Portobellos.
- Place the vegetables on the hot barbeque grill and cook, turning once, for about 4 minutes per side. Remove from heat.
- Transfer the cooked quinoa to a medium sized bowl. Chop the grilled peppers and zucchini and add to the quinoa, along with all but a tablespoon of the pesto. Stir gently to combine well.
- Place the Portobellos on individual serving places, with the stem sides (undersides) facing up. Heap about 1/2 cup (125 mL) of the quinoa mixture (or more, if you can fit it on) onto each mushroom.
- Top each with a dollop of pesto and serve immediately with lemon wedges to squeeze over top for a bright pop of flavour.
Makes 4 stuffed Portobellos.