You might think having a nice little selection of cheeses and cured meats with a few assorted olives would be enough to create a perfect antipasti spread. But I have always tended to go for the gusto which means abundantly more selections on the appetizer trays such as roasted peppers, artichokes, perhaps some hot peppers, and marinated white cannellini beans.
I’m not quite sure when I started with marinating the cannellini beans thing but it was a very long time ago. In fact, sometimes after long hours of preparation for holiday gatherings I came to the juncture that once everything was assembled and served on tables, I had only the appetite left for something simple like a little crusty bread spread with those marinated white beans.
The nice thing about a bounty of antipasti choices is that nothing ever goes to waste. I’ve used up those extra choice selections for years always later creating whole new meals tossing these tasty ingredients in with pasta or mixed in salads.
Some time back I prepared a little leftover dish with some seared Portobello slices and combined them with the marinated white bean salad. It tasted pretty good so when my next craving came for the marinated white beans I made a larger batch and stuffed them into some whole roasted Portobellos.
You can put this meatless meal together in less than a half hour. For the best flavor marinate the beans a day in advance and then let them sit out at room temperature for around a half hour before warming them through and stuffing them into the just roasted mushrooms before topping them off with a bit of fresh grated cheese. The key to roasting the Portobello is to make sure the mushroom has given up all its moisture, even with a slight dryness around the edges which produces a meatier flavor.
And with any remaining marinated beans, like I said, they sure are comforting spread across a simple slice of crusty bread.
Couple pinches coarse kosher salt, plus more according to taste
Few grinds cracked black pepper
For the Mushrooms:
4 large sized Portobello Mushrooms
2 tablespoons olive oil
Good couple pinches coarse kosher salt
4 tablespoons fresh grated Parmesan Cheese
Into a bowl combine the beans, garlic, parsley, thyme, and pimientos. Whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice and mustard then pour over the bean mixture, stir to combine. Sprinkle in the salt and pepper, stir. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for up to a day. Let bean salad set at room temperature for a half hour before roasting the mushrooms, check seasoning adding a bit more salt to correct flavor.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Pour olive oil onto baking sheet lined with parchment paper or drizzle over the mushrooms and toss to lightly coat with the oil. Sprinkle over a couple good pinches coarse kosher salt then toss again. Lay mushrooms top side down. Bake for around 13 minutes, turn mushrooms over and bake another 5 minutes or a bit longer to remove any remaining damp moisture. Remove from oven.
Heat the marinated bean mixture in a microwave for around a minute and a half depending on the power, until warmed through. Stuff mixture into the hot roasted Portobello mushrooms, top with Parmesan cheese. Serve alone or on a bed of dressed arugula.