Tabouleh Stuffed Mushrooms (Mushroom Appetizer Recipe)
In this recipe, mushrooms are used as little receptacles for serving tabouleh. They make very refreshing appetizers, which pair perfectly with the beautiful weather we've had in the Bay Area.
I pickled the mushrooms days in advance so the mushrooms aren't raw but still hold their shape and don't darken. The appetizers are assembled at the last minute and they make an ideal dish for a buffet-style party. We're hosting our annual pool party soon, so I've been experimenting with fun, summer-y appetizers for the occasion and this mushroom dish is definitely going to make the list!
Yields: 6 servings9 ounces couscous
2½ pounds button mushrooms
2½ cups apple cider vinegar
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon honey (optional)
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
¼ cup red onion, finely chopped
4 cloves pickled garlic (see tips), finely minced
½ teaspoon dry mustard
10 sprigs fresh mint, chopped
10 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley (leaves only), chopped
5 ripe tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon combined black, green and pink peppercorns
½ teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
Preparing the carrot: Peel, shred and finely chop the carrot. Add ¼ cup of lemon juice and honey (if used). Mix well and set aside.
Preparing the mushrooms: Maman used to peel the thin outer "skin" on the "hat" of button mushrooms, using a paring knife. If you're extra cautious, do peel them. Using the same paring knife, gently remove the stem of the mushrooms, creating a deep cavity. Gather and thinly slice the stems (set aside).
Pickling the mushrooms: In a small saucepan, combine the apple cider vinegar, 1¼ cups water, bay leaf, colored peppercorns and 1 tablespoon salt. Bring to a boil. Add the whole mushroom "hats". Return to a boil. Turn off the heat. Cover and let sit for 5 minutes. Drain and pat dry with paper towels. Add 1 tablespoon chopped mint. Toss well. Store in the refrigerator until ready to assemble.
In a bowl, combine the chopped garlic, tomatoes, mushroom stems, carrots (with the lemon juice), red onions, mustard, mint and parsley. Stir well.
Fill a small saucepan with 1¼ cups water. Bring to a boil. Place the semolina in a glass container and pour the liquid into the semolina. Cover immediately with a plate. Place in the microwave for about a minute. Check the softness, add a little more water (¼ cup) and continue cooking if necessary (I didn't). Fluff the semolina with a fork. Season with salt and pepper. Let cool to room temperature. Add the tomato mixture. Mix well. Adjust seasoning if necessary. Drizzle with 3 tablespoons olive oil. Chill in the refrigerator until ready to assemble.
Assembly time: Stuff each mushroom with about 2 teaspoons of the tabouleh mixture, creating a small mound. Drizzle with a bit olive oil. Serve at room temperature.
If you don't have semolina (coarsely-ground durum wheat), you could use quinoa, bulgur (wheat grains that are partly cooked), regular couscous (tiny pasta made from semolina), Israeli couscous or even cooked pasta in larger-sized mushrooms.
9 mushrooms weigh 8 ounces. For this appetizer recipe, count about 40 ounces of mushrooms (2½ pounds).
You can use fresh garlic instead of the pickled garlic but the garlic flavor will be a lot stronger. You can find pickled garlic in any Asian store.May 21, 2012.