One of our favorite things to do is have a dinner which consists of different appetizers. I love the variety along with the fun involved in getting it ready and just relaxing and enjoying each bite. I love when Nicoletta and I do a shopping spree at the Italian Center Shop and we pick up cheeses and olives, fresh bread, some fresh tomatoes. We sit and enjoy each others company and devour all the goods always saying this is the best way to eat.
This appetizer was inspired by something we tried one day while out shopping. We were driving by a shop I love going to The SunTerra Market and wanted to share that with Nicoletta. This place is great, has wonderful produce and organic goods, and their deli is always amazing, this is where we had our wonderful lunch and inspiration to create Portobellini Cheese Melts with Pesto and Peppers.
As you may have guessed we had a mushroom dish and testing our taste buds to recreate our own appetizer we went to work with what flavors were present. The mushroom was a given Portobellini, a nice backdrop of pesto, and some nicely sauteed onions and peppers topped with a good melting cheese. Off to The Strathcona Market to get some ingredients. The first thing was the portobellini mushrooms and a sure winner is Mona foods never disappointed in anything we bought there; peppers and purple onions from Doef’s greenhouses, cheese from The Italian Center Shop and our home made pesto, and we are set.
I have to say these portobellini melts were amazing, the mushroom juices running with every bite and packed with that earthy flavor. The peppers sweet and savory delicately smoothed by the caramelized onion and elevated by the garlic housed in our homemade pesto so tasty fresh and buttery, and that crusty chewy melted Fontina cheese absolutely delicious. These are a hit and ones that I will think of for any party or gathering.
So next time you have a party or you just want that appetizer family night, keep it in mind: Portobellini Cheese Melts with Pesto and Peppers. Even as a side dish, or on their own, they would be amazing. I know they will be a hit to all those mushroom lovers out there!
Song of the day: “Seven Days” by Sting.Print
- 8 medium portobellini mushrooms
- 2 small purple onions
- 3 mini red peppers
- 3 mini yellow peppers
- 3 orange peppers
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 4 teaspoons pesto
- 1/2 cup of grated Fontina cheese (or cheese of your choice)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Clean and remove stem from portobellini.
- Dice up onions and peppers. Mince garlic.
- Heat up olive oil in a saute pan.
- Toss in onions, peppers. Season with salt and pepper.
- Cook till softened then add garlic and cook for another 2-3 minutes on medium to high heat.
- Set aside.
- Pre-heat oven to 350° F.
- Drizzle a bit of olive oil on mushroom tops.
- On a parchment lined baking sheet place mushrooms top side down, and season with salt and pepper.
- Place a 1/2 teaspoon of pesto into center of inside mushroom and spread evenly.
- Then add a couple of teaspoon fulls of the onion pepper mix, and top with some of the grated Fontina cheese.
- Place baking sheet in middle rack of oven and bake till cheese is melted and turning golden brown, roughly about 25 minutes.
- Take out of oven and serve.