This quick brunch side was inspired by a Saturday cafe date I had with two of my best friends – Portobello Eggs Benedict. The original dish had artichokes, poached eggs, and creamy holandaise. It was delicious, but with the sauce and runny yolk I found it a little too soupy. I loved the idea of using portobellos in place of English muffins in a brunch dish, and took a stab at my own. These roasted portobellos are layered with flavor and come together in no time at all – I ate the one pictured as a mid-morning snack!
-4 portobello mushroom caps
-10oz bag of baby spinach
-2T olive oil
-1t minced garlic
-riccotta cheese, or whipped cottage cheese
-2t total of dried Italian spices (parsley, basil, oregano)
-salt and pepper to taste
-your favorite jarred bruschetta – here, I used my go-to Trader Giotti’s, but don’t be afraid to use your own!
Preheat your oven to 350. Rinse and dry your portobello mushrooms, and remove the inner stem. With the top side of each mushroom down, brush the bottom with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes. Next, heat a large skillet over medium heat, and coat the pan with about 1T of olive oil. Add the minced garlic, and stir – cook about 3 minutes or until the garlic is slightly toasted. Add in the entire bag of spinach, and toss to coat. I like to use tongs when sauteeing greens – it’s easier to move them around. The spinach should wilt down in about 5 minutes. By this time, your mushrooms are probably roasted and can be removed from the oven to cool.
Now, for the topping. I know it seems odd, but low-fat whipped cottage cheese is an identical replacement to part-skim ricotta. It is salty and creamy with a slightly lumped texture, and in my opinion, is much more flavorful than ricotta when eaten raw, especially when you add in the spices. I put this cottage cheese – spice mixture over eggs, in pasta, and even eat it by itself. It’s really good, is normally cheaper, and it even has more protein! I wouldn’t recommend substituting cottage cheese for ricotta in baked recipes, however, as it will release much more moisture when cooked.
For the assembly, layer the spinach on the roasted portobello, and top with the spiced cottage cheese and bruschetta. So simple, and so good. I had a ton of leftovers, so I cooked up some eggs and ate it as breakfast for a few days – didn’t mind my early morning desk routine this week!