“Never underestimate the power of good food. Eating delicious food can be a life-changing experience.”
― Shon Mehta
Once again, I was late to the party. The kitchen gadget party, that is! I think it took me as long to purchase an air fryer as it did an “Instapot”. However, I did not regret either purchase. In fact, an air fryer was exactly the culinary lift that I needed to help inspire our menu during our long winter. While it is convenient when you have teenagers that could live on snacks (tater tots, chicken wings, pizza rolls, leftover pizza etc.), it also makes splendid roasted vegetables, entrees, and it makes quick work of breakfast fare. Since we purchased an extra large one that has two trays, I can make roasted breakfast potatoes (without having to heat up the oven) and sausage, or bacon, at the same time as the potatoes.
A few months ago I shared a recipe for crispy, roasted Brussels sprouts and I must say that the air fryer makes a phenomenal batch of sprouts. The broccoli is equally delicious. In fact, my step daughter Avalon confessed to making the leftover broccoli from our Sunday dinner her midnight snack.
The recipe that I am sharing with you today (just like the last one – shrimp salad) was inspired by the thought of warmer days. These mushrooms would be a marvelous side to grilled chicken, steak, or a fantastic accompaniment to a pasta dish or a plate of tomato sauce and meatballs. In fact, I am thinking I may make them again this week as a partner to a bowl of lemony pasta with parmesan cheese.
I marinated the mushrooms before I air fried. However, if you want a crispier texture to the mushrooms, you may want to leave that step out. I enjoyed the meaty texture of the mushrooms and the flavor that was rendered from the marinade.
If you do not have an air fryer, you could still make these in the oven.
AIR FRIED PORTOBELLO MUSHROOM CAPRESE
*4 large Portobello Mushroom caps
*8 ounces of fresh mozzarella cheese (can be found in the specialty cheese cases in most grocery stores. It is usually found shrink wrapped or in a plastic container with brine.)
*1 bunch of basil (julienned)
*1 quart of cherry tomatoes or Campari tomatoes
*¼ cup of balsamic vinegar
*¼ cup of olive oil
*1 Tablespoon of minced garlic
*1 Tablespoon of chopped onion
*⅛ cup of lemon juice
*Salt and pepper
In a bowl or plastic bag, combine the vinegar, oil, lemon juice, garlic, onion, and a few dashes of salt and pepper.
Remove the stems from the mushrooms and place in the bowl/bag and marinate for at least 30 minutes. You can also leave overnight
Place the mushrooms upside down in the air fryer and cook at 390 for 5 minutes.
Turn over and add halved tomatoes, a couple Tablespoons of basil, sliced mozzarella, and drizzle over each mushroom cap some of the marinade. Air fry at 390 for 5-7 minutes (depending on your air fryer) until brown on the top.
If you do not have an air fryer, bake at 350 for 15 minutes. You could finish for the last couple minutes under the broiler to brown the cheese.
Serve with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar, a sprinkle of basil, salt, and pepper.
I hope you enjoy this simple recipe. It carries a wallop of flavor and the combination of fragrant basil and juicy tomatoes screams summer!
As we move into spring and summer, I hope that your table is bursting with fresh flavors and the laughter of family and friends. Make sure you check out the local farmers markets in Marquette County. I am looking forward to being a vendor again at the market in Skandia. I will have plant starts available to purchase in the spring as well as – fresh greens (kale, spinach, lettuce), cucumbers, radishes, fresh herbs (dill, basil, cilantro), flower bouquets, pure maple syrup, farm fresh eggs, later in the summer the most succulent tomatoes you have ever tasted, and finally, apples from our orchard.
Make sure you check out the tabs at the top of the page for a bounty of recipes featuring fresh and wholesome ingredients. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions. Until next time, make sure you take care of yourself – and each other.