Finally, a savory recipe to cut through all this sweets on this blog lately!  (Not that I have a problem with sweets – obviously.)  I used to have some sort of preconceived bias against Bobby Flay before ever really watching his show.  I’m not sure what it was – maybe his accent, or I just thought he looked cocky.  One day I decided to give his show a try and I was pleasantly surprised to find that I really like his personality and I think he is very talented.  Practically everything he makes has me drooling after watching the show.  This was the first thing I ever saw him make, and now a couple of years later I finally got around to trying it!  This was an absolutely fantastic dinner and a great way to add some variety to the grilling repertoire.  I was worried that the mushrooms would not hold up to this substantial filling once cooked, but they did very well.

The recipe makes significantly more filling than is needed for four large mushroom caps, so next time I will either cut the amount of filling or buy more mushrooms (depending on how many people I’m feeding).  I used classic Italian sausage this time around and it was great, but I think in the future I will use turkey sausage.  One final thing to note is that the amount of fresh spinach leaves the recipe calls for seems like a LOT, but it cooks down to a very small volume so don’t be scared to add the full amount.  

Grilled Portobellos Stuffed with Sausage, Spinach and Mozzarella
3/4 lb. turkey sausage
1 medium yellow onion, sliced
1/2 cup dry red wine
8 oz. fresh spinach leaves, stems removed and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup water
Salt and pepper
4 tbsp. chopped fresh basil leaves
3 tbsp. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
8 oz. fresh mozzarella, diced
6-8 large portobello mushrooms, stems removed
Olive oil, for brushing
1-2 tomatoes, thinly sliced 

Preheat grill to medium-high heat.  Oil the grates.

In a skillet over medium-high heat, brown the sausage and break it into small pieces.  Add the sliced onion and cook until tender and translucent, about 5-7 minutes.  Add the wine and cook until the wine is completely reduced.  Add the spinach and 1/2 cup of water to the pan, and season with salt and pepper.  Cook until the spinach has wilted, about 2 minutes.  Remove from heat, stir in 2 tablespoons of the basil, 2 tablespoons of the parsley, and all of the cheese.  Stir together and allow to cool slightly. 

Brush the mushroom caps on both sides with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Place on the grill, cap side down, and cook until golden brown, about 4 minutes.  Remove the mushrooms from the grill and place on a flat surface, cap side down.  Fill the mushrooms with the sausage mixture and top each with one or two slices of tomato.  Return to the grill, cap side down, and close the cover.  Cook until the mushroom and filling have heated through, the cheese is melted and the tomato is soft, about 5 minutes.  Remove to a serving platter and sprinkle with the remaining basil and parsley. 

Source: adapted from Food Network, courtesy of Bobby Flay