Recently, a friend put together a surprise birthday party for his wife. The party was held at a local winery, a favorite spot for the couple, and was a potluck picnic. The rsvp list was large and I knew that at least a handful of guests were gluten-free, several more were vegetarian, and I wanted to provide a dish which couple be enjoyed by as many people as possible. It can easily be a vegan recipe as well; just omit the cheese. Also, as a picnic, there was no refrigeration available so I knew that a cold dish would be best. This recipe is what I came up with and it was a huge hit! Although the recipe may look difficult, it really does not take much time and is easy to put together. —MsKateCooks
crimini mushrooms, stems removed
extra virgin olive oil
3-5 cloves garlic, chopped
fresh or dried rosemary
salt to taste
zuchini, chopped small
red bell pepper, chopped small
green bell pepper, chopped small
white onion, chopped small
feta cheese (optional)
fresh dill, chopped
juice from 1/2 lemon
extra virgin olive oil OR grape seed oil
Wash mushroom caps thoroughly, pat dry, and put into large plastic storage bags which zip closed.
Add all other ingredients to the bags of mushrooms. Zip bags carefully and shake well to incorporate all ingredients.
Refrigerate for 30-60 minutes while you work on the filling.
Cook quinoa according to package instructions. Set aside to cool.
Preheat oven to 400.
In an airtight container, combine dill, lemon juice, oil and salt. Shake very well to incorporate. Set aside.
Lay mushrooms on baking sheet(s) in one layer and cook in the oven for about 20 minutes. They will be ready when they are starting to become soft but still keep their integrity. When they are done, set aside to cool.
Chop all the veggies very small. Once the quinoa is at room temperature, add all of the veggies in a large mixing bowl. It is very important that the quinoa is not warm, as you do not want the vegetables to cook.
Add feta cheese and lemon-dill vinaigrette to the quinoa and mix well.
When the mushrooms are cool, stuff them with the quinoa by using a small spoon. It's can be a little messy, but if you are firm with the spoon, the quinoa will stay put in the cap. Refrigerate until ready to serve.