A new version of stuffed mushroom caps that are sure to be a true holiday hit. These mushrooms touch on all flavor and texture notes--salty, sweet, spicy, crunchy.

Ingredients

  • 24 large stuffing mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup dried fruit (suggested: apricots, cranberries, currants, or raisins)
  • 1/3 cup drained pimento-stuffed spanish olives from a jar (such as Goya)
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds (substitute pine nuts or walnuts)
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds (optional: you can also use another type of seed or nut)
  • 3 large garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1/2 bunch fresh parsley, stems trimmed and minced finely
  • 3/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, freshly grated
  • 1 pound hot Italian sausage, removed from casings (substitute fresh chorizo or sweet sausage)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Extra virgin olive oil

Preparation

Preheat oven to 400 degrees if baking same day.

Prepare the mushroom caps: remove the stems and use a spoon to scoop out a bit of the mushroom inside in order to make enough room for stuffing.

Drizzle the inside of the mushroom caps with a bit of olive oil and season well with kosher salt and black pepper. Arrange mushrooms with scooped-side-up in a baking dish large enough to fit all the mushrooms snugly.

Prepare the filling: pile the dried fruit, olives, almonds, pumpkin seeds on a cutting board and run through quickly with a knife until all are chopped coursely. Pour into a large mixing bowl. Add the minced garlic, parsley, and grated cheese, and mix well. Add the sausage meat and mix until evenly distributed.

Season with 1 teaspoon kosher salt and a generous crack of black pepper.

Use your hands to stuff each of the mushroom caps generously.

Drizzle everything with a bit more olive oil. Bake 10 minutes, then turn the dish and bake for 10-15 more minutes, or until the stuffing is fully cooked and browned, and the mushrooms are tender.

Let cool slightly before serving.