Paleo Spinach-and-Bacon-Stuffed Mushrooms
Why This Recipe Works
Stuffed mushrooms are a popular appetizer, but the usual bread- or cheese-based stuffings mean that they're not paleo. We wanted to create a paleo-friendly filling with all the flavorful appeal of traditional recipes. We decided that boiled and pureed cashews would provide a perfect base for our stuffing, since they make a creamy, neutral-flavored paste when processed. Next, we needed to figure out some flavorful additions that would complement the earthy mushrooms.
We started with a classic stuffed mushroom ingredient: spinach. To maintain its vibrant green color and vegetal flavor, we cooked it only briefly. To build savory depth in our stuffing, we decided to sauté some chopped bacon and use the rendered fat to cook our aromatics and spinach. Finally, we turned to the mushrooms. To ensure that they were perfectly cooked and not soggy, we microwaved them before stuffing them to allow them to soften and release excess liquid. But once filled and baked, the mushrooms had a uniformly soft texture that tasters disliked. Some toasted cashews and the reserved crisped bacon bits, sprinkled over the tops of the mushrooms, served to introduce welcome crunch.