Grilled Tomato Stuffed Mushrooms w/ Pistachio Pesto/Soundgrowler Esoteric Agenda/Woodhawk “Beyond the Sun”
We’re looking forward to the challenge of this new whole plant based lifestyle while still lighting the grill, cracking a beer and cranking the tunes and if this first recipe is a preview of things to come, things are going to work out just fine. We grill perfectly ripe heirloom tomatoes and stuff them in large portobello caps before topping them with a pistachio pesto and a cashew parmesan cheese. Everything gets baked until tender then the caps are served over a vinegary mixed green salad. For the beer, we went back to our favorite brewery, Soundgrowler Brewing and sampled their hazy APA, Esoteric Agenda. On the speakers was the sweet desert rock sounds of Woodhawk’s “Beyond the Sun”.
Grilled Tomato Stuffed Mushrooms w/ Pistachio Pesto – Condiments may be the biggest area of adjustment when it comes to eating solely plant based. In tonight’s case, we’d normally whip up a quick oily and cheesy basil pesto and freshly grate the parmigiana reggiano right on top, but 100% plant based pesto and cheese would require a little more thought and work. Let’s start with the cheese. Thankfully there are plenty of recipes online for plant based Parmesan. We start by adding a cup of cashews to a food processor then add in 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast and a few good shakes of our Bootlicker Sicilian Rub.
Process until the mixture turns crumbly then set aside. Disclaimer: ok, we’re not going to claim this even comes close to real thing; especially the good stuff, but it was just nutty and funky enough to work as a fine substitute.
On to the pesto; in the same food processor we’re going to add a cup and a half of shelled pistachios and a handful of basil leaves that have been hand torn.
Next up we add in a tablespoon of our cashew cheese and a 1/4 cup of organic vegetable broth.
Process until smooth adding more broth as needed to make the pesto creamy.
With the toppings out of the way, we can focus on the veggies, starting with these beautiful heirloom tomatoes. We’re going to slice them about a half inch thick and season both sides with more Bootlicker.
Grill the tomatoes over direct heat for only a minute or two to get them charred and a little soft then remove from heat.
For the portobellos, we remove the stem and reserve for a later use (plant-based means zero waste, right?) then we stuff each cap with a grilled tomato.
A heaping tablespoon of the pistachio pesto gets spread across the top followed by a sprinkling of the cashew cheese.
These then get baked in a 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes until the mushrooms are soft. The final presentation has these killer stuffed mushrooms served over a bed of vinegary mixed greens.
Soundgrowler Esoteric Agenda – This hoppy pale ale is super balanced with Golden Promise and Munich malt and a hefty dose of Centennial, Simcoe and Amarillo Hops making for a delicious, easy drinking APA. The beer was just light enough at 5.1% ABV to pair perfectly with the Italian-inspired mushrooms.
Woodhawk “Beyond the Sun” – This Calgary trio brings desert rock, Sabbath and some sleazy rawk and roll together to create some killer riff-driven jams on the latest release “Beyond the Sun”.