Ground turkey is an excellent, economical ingredient that is far more than just a healthier substitute for beef. In addition to its nutritional benefits (high protein, low fat, low cholesterol) it is flavorful and very versatile. I usually cook up a few pounds at a time and freeze it, then use the cooked, crumbled ground turkey in frittatas, tomato sauces, enchiladas, even curries; ground turkey takes any type of spicing well.
I developed this recipe for my friend (and fellow foodie) Cheryl Smithem, who is a sharp, forward-thinking PR consultant — and a ground turkey fan, too!
Provolone picante is a dry, aged provolone with a very pleasant bite and a texture similar to Asiago (which can also be used in this recipe.)
Cipolline onions, those flat little Italian gems, are becoming increasingly popular, both fresh and in jars marinated with Balsamic vinegar. (And when you run out of the onions, the delicious onion-flavored Balsamic makes a memorable dressing for cooked greens)
You can use marinated or canned black olives in this recipe. Incidentally, you can easily elevate plain canned black olives into something special by marinating them yourself. You can do them in any style from Italian (olive oil/wine vinegar/garlic/oregano) to Tunisian (Olive oil/lemon zest/harissa) to anything you can imagine!
Here’s a photo of the Turkey & Cipolline Stuffed Mushrooms below.
1 lb large white mushrooms
1 lb ground turkey, cooked and crumbled into small bits
3/4 cup grated yellow or zucchini squash (squeeze out the excess water)
1 large clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup chopped Balsamic-marinated cipolline onions
3 Tbsp balsamic marinade (from onions)
1/4 cup grated provolone picante (plus small pieces for stuffing the olives; see below)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup toasted bread crumbs
1 egg, beaten
1 Tbsp olive oil (if needed)
Large pitted black olives (enough to equal the number of mushrooms, plus some to snack on)
Remove the stems from the mushrooms and place them gill side down on a lightly greased baking pan. Drizzle the caps with a little olive oil and sprinkle with a little sea salt. Turn the caps over and preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
In a medium bowl, mix together the next 9 ingredients (ground turkey through bread crumbs and taste for salt, adding a bit more if needed. Mix in the beaten egg (add the tablespoon of olive oil if the ground turkey was very lean.)
Distribute the stuffing between the mushrooms. Cut small pieces of provolone picante and stuff them into enough black olives to equal the number of mushrooms. Press a stuffed olive into the center of each stuffed mushroom; sprinkle the mushrooms with some additional grated cheese, if desired. Roast at 375 degrees for 25 - 30 minutes until mushrooms are cooked and cheese is golden.
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