Full-disclosure: mushrooms will never be my favourite ingredient. It’s always been a texture thing, which I know is a stumbling block because I appreciate the vast vista of fungi flavours is mine for the tasting once I master the mushroom mouthfeel. Alliteration aside, this elegant appetizer, championed by champignons, boasts the best and boldest full-on flavours.

Serves 4 to 6

24 large button or cremini mushrooms
8 raw bacon strips, chopped
1/3 cup cream cheese

6 tablespoons butter (salted or unsalted) 
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup Parmigiano Reggiano, finely grated

1 cup fresh mozzarella, chopped
1/4 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
1/4 cup dry white wine
Chopped chives (optional)

  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F.
  2. Remove the stems from the mushrooms and set aside. 
  3. Heat a large frying pan over medium-low heat. Add the bacon. Cook until semi-crisp. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
  4. Scoop about 1 teaspoon of cream cheese into each mushroom cap. Place mushrooms in a baking dish, cheese side-up. 
  5. Finely chop the mushroom stems. Return the pan to the stovetop and add stems with butter. Cook for 5 min. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Remove from heat and stir in the parmigiano, mozzarella, bacon and breadcrumbs. 
  6. Scoop some of the mushroom mixture in each mushroom cap. Pour wine into the baking dish around the mushrooms. Cover the baking dish with foil. Bake for 20 minutes then uncover and cook for a further 5-10 minutes until wine reduces by about half and then tops of the mushrooms are golden brown. Sprinkle with more Parmigiano Reggiano and chopped chives, if desired.

Recipe shared by Debbie Arseneault (Delta, British Columbia).