Capture the flavors of Southern Italy and Northern Spain in one tasty, no-cook appetizer that instantly beckons with its good looks. Combine whole wheat bread, walnuts, and pungent Spanish olives with red wine vinegar, stuff the combo into a mushroom, and you’ve got one delicious morsel full of pungent flavor. These irresistible mushrooms are best eaten the same day they are prepared.

Walnutty Mediterranean Mushrooms

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

12 to 18 large button mushrooms, about 1 1/2 to 2 inches in diameter

Ingredients

Stuffing

2 slices whole wheat bread

1 medium tomato, de-seeded and diced

1/2 cup walnuts coarsely ground in a nut mill

1/3 cup diced sweet onions

1/4 cup minced Spanish olives

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon salt

Garnish

1 or 2 leaves green leaf lettuce

1 or 2 sprigs parsley or cilantro

Preparation

  1. Wash the mushrooms and pat them dry with paper towels. Apply gentle pressure with your thumb to remove the stems and set them aside for a future recipe.
  2. Break the bread into small pieces and place them into a medium bowl. Moisten the bread by pouring warm water to cover over the pieces. Then drain thoroughly and squeeze the bread dry.
  3. Add the diced tomato, walnuts, onions, Spanish olives, vinegar, garlic, and salt to the moistened bread and mix well. Stuff generous portions of the bread mixture into the mushroom cavities.
  4. To serve, line a serving platter with the lettuce leaves and arrange the mushrooms on top. Garnish each mushroom with a tiny sprig of parsley, and enjoy a nutty good starter.

*Recipe and image courtesy of Zel and Reuben Allen, of Vegetarians in Paradise.*