These two-bite snacks are a California take on old-school stuffed mushrooms. Instead of using frozen spinach, Lauren Kiino adds kale; the hazelnut-lemon-garlic topping lends contrast and crunch.
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1/4 cup hazelnuts
2 tablespoons chopped lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon finely grated garlic
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
16 large cremini mushrooms, stems removed and finely chopped
2 cups finely chopped Tuscan kale leaves (about 2 ounces)
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Freshly ground black pepper
How to Make It
Step 1 Make the gremolata
Preheat the oven to 400°. Spread the hazelnuts in a pie plate and toast for 8 minutes, or until the skins split. Leave the oven on. Transfer the nuts to a clean kitchen towel and let cool slightly, then rub them together to remove the skins. Let cool completely, then coarsely chop the nuts. In a small bowl, combine the nuts with the lemon zest, garlic and parsley. Season with salt.
Step 2 Prepare the mushrooms
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange the mushroom caps stemmed side up on the baking sheet and brush them all over with the melted butter. Bake the mushrooms for 12 minutes, or until tender.
Step 3 Prepare the mushrooms
Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Add the shallots, garlic and thyme and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the shallots are softened, about 5 minutes. Add the chopped mushroom stems and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 8 minutes. Add the kale and cook, stirring, until tender, about 8 minutes. Add the cream and bring to a boil, then simmer until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the vinegar and nutmeg. Let the filling cool slightly, then stir in the grated cheese. Season with salt and pepper.
Step 4 Prepare the mushrooms
Mound the kale filling in the mushroom caps. Bake in the oven for about 10 minutes, or until browned and bubbling. Transfer the mushrooms to a platter, sprinkle with the gremolata and serve.
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