We’re celebrating the fungus among us this week with a tribute to the versatile mushroom.

Here’s a recipe that makes a great lunch or appetizer. Make-ahead directions follow the recipe, and there’s a bonus recipe at the end for a Vegetable Platter with Balsamic-Beet Vinaigrette.

All of the ingredients are available at your local natural and organic food store.

Roasted Portobello Mushrooms with Beets and Goat Cheese

Makes 4 servings

  • 1 jar (16 ounces) whole pickled beets
  • 4 large portobello mushrooms (about 1 pound)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs (sourdough or whole wheat)
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onions or chopped chives
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled goat cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Drain beets, reserving liquid. Coarsely chop 1/2 cup beets; set remaining whole beets aside with beet liquid to use in Vegetable Platter With Balsamic-Beet Vinaigrette (recipe follows).
  2. Trim stems flat and remove gills from mushroom caps using a spoon; discard. Place caps, rounded sides down, on foil-lined baking sheet; season with salt and pepper.
  3. Combine chopped beets, bread crumbs, green onions and walnuts in medium bowl; mix well. Spoon mixture into caps and top with cheese. Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until heated through and mushrooms are tender.

To Make Ahead: Stuff mushroom caps. Cover and refrigerate up to 4 hours before baking.

Appetizer Variation: Remove stems from 1 pound baby portobello or crimini mushrooms. Proceed as directed above, mounding caps with crumb mixture and topping with cheese. Bake as directed above. This version makes about 18 stuffed mushrooms.

Vegetable Platter with Balsamic-Beet Vinaigrette: Arrange reserved beets on platter with an assortment of steamed fresh vegetables like baby carrots, green and wax beans, sugar snap peas, and small halved new and fingerling potatoes. Combine 1/4 cup reserved beet juice with 3/4 cup prepared balsamic vinaigrette salad dressing. Whisk until well combined. Drizzle vinaigrette over vegetables.

Photo and recipe courtesy of Aunt Nellie’s Beets/Seneca Foods