Every year for the past 13 or so years I host a special party called Martini Magic to a group of long time friends. I’ve added a few to our guest list each year for I’ve been accurately called a people collector. Ha ha, yes I am one of those souls that chats to most everyone anywhere and loves to bring people together.
This particular party is tapas and cocktails focused as you may have suspected and there have been years where I’ve offered 8+ various Martini concoctions to choose from. (Once a bartender, always one it seems.) It’s a wee bit crazy to manage, yet I am an innate host and rarely sit still at parties. If you need help at party, invite me, you'll see what I mean.
Besides great food and drink at my parties, our eves always include a rousing game of some sort and it seems my friends get more and more outrageous as the years pass. Wisdom and wise-ness as we age, oh yes I trust this to be true along with older and more eccentric.
(Oh to laugh at oneself and have friends close enough to laugh at each other playfully too).
Years ago my former husband and I hosted annual holiday parties for 70 plus people.
We started food prep in October and had a feast that impressed us all. He has a restaurant in Aruba now with his new wife - Alfies,- I strongly suggest you visit if you find yourself on that lovely Island. While you won’t find plant-based featured there (yet-ha ha) you will enjoy the best authentic hospitality you could hope for and food prepared with skill and sass. The cocktails too yet I do believe my martini’s would rival theirs. OK, maybe not.
Now I digressed… the mushrooms I made back then included cheese and I just knew I could create a delish vegan version. I did just that!
You are sure to love these even if you eat meat – no missing it here. The plant-based cheese I chose is a fave artisan cheese from Nuts for Cheese. You will always find a stash in my freezer. Sure you can make your own yet this company aces the cheese creations they offer.
BI hope you can find it and if not, choose your favorite non-dairy, whole-food cheese. No crappy processed versions please. You are better off to increase the amount of nutritional yeast if you can’t find any and or add in a few tbsp nut or seed butter.
A toast to you and making time for great food and fabulous friends you treasure. Now on to the recipe.
- Vegan, dairy, gluten, soy-free w. nut-free option
- Makes 24 caps
24 small cremini or white button mushrooms
1-2 tbsp Olive oil
½ cup onion, finely diced
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp Italian herb blend, rubbed
¼ cup seeds or nuts, toasted and chopped if needed
¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped
1 cup arugula or spinach, parsley, watercress…
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
¼ cup vegan cheese (I love Nuts for Cheese)
Pinch sea salt, and black pepper, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and wipe mushrooms well with a damp towel to remove any debris. De-stem and set aside caps.
- Dice the mushrooms finely, add to a hot medium-sized, non-stick saute pan over medium heat and add a little splash of olive oil. After a few minutes, add diced onions and saute until transparent then add the garlic and saute until soft and fragrant.
- Next add the mushroom stems and Italian herbs and continue to saute until browned, stirring occasionally. Turn off the heat and add the remaining ingredients to the pan stirring to combine and allow the cheese to melt. Remove the pan from the heat, add sea salt and pepper to taste and allow to cool while prepping the mushrooms.
- Brush each mushroom cap with a little olive oil, sprinkle with a little sea salt and fill each cap with the stuffing. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes in the preheated oven until the mushrooms are browned and heated through. Transfer to a platter scattered with arugula and serve while hot. These are so so good you are going to want to make the recipe again and again. So much so you won't even need to refer back to the recipe.
- This recipe has lots of room for playful creative flare, feel free to use greens, seeds or nuts of your choice.
- For a great main course substitute large mushrooms such as Portobello instead of using small cremini caps, add an additional 5-10 minutes to the baking time and serve with steamed greens and roasted herb and garlic olive oil tossed veggies or your favorite ancient grains cooked in a great veggie broth.
- Here is a favorite take on the way I make a classic martini.
If you have your own take on these that you love do share. I'd love to hear about it.