Gen­eral Pro­duce is a third gen­er­a­tion, locally owned and oper­ated fresh pro­duce com­pany located in North­ern Cal­i­for­nia. We dis­trib­ute and export fresh fruits and veg­eta­bles — local, organic, sus­tain­able, regional and glob­ally sourced. Get to Know Us!

Nearly any­thing stuffed will con­vince us that there is a cel­e­bra­tion in the mak­ing.

That could mean an easy week­night din­ner party if the vehi­cle used for stuff­ing is a por­to­bello mush­room.

In North­ern Italy, this over­sized mush­room is called “cap­pel­lone” which means “big hat”. It makes sense as the shape resem­bles a large cap or top­per (just right for stuff­ing).

To be clear, once a cri­m­ini mush­room reaches between four to six inches in diam­e­ter, it is offi­cially called a por­to­bello or porta­bella. Yes, they are one in the same vari­ety, with a dif­fer­ent matu­rity level dic­tat­ing its name.

A porta­bello is rec­og­nized by it’s open, flat sur­face (cap). Because it’s left to grow larger, the gills are fully exposed. This means that some of the mushroom’s mois­ture has evap­o­rated. The reduced mois­ture con­cen­trates and enriches the fla­vor and cre­ates a dense, meaty texture.

Grilled, sautéed or oven-​roasted, por­to­bel­los deliver on an earthy, del­i­cate fla­vor and ter­rific mouth feel.

The woody stem is often used in stock-​making or pre­pared as one would cook other types of mush­rooms. Caps can be chopped and used as most other mush­rooms too, but why waste their glo­ri­ous size and beauty? They are mag­nif­i­cent when pre­sented whole on the plate.

Bound­less ingre­di­ents for stuff­ing depend on sea­sonal avail­abil­ity and per­sonal pref­er­ence.

Begin with var­i­ous fresh herbs and veg­etable choices. Gar­lic, onions, shal­lots, Ital­ian pars­ley, col­ored bell pep­pers, greens and toma­toes get the engines started.

Whole grains and legumes pick up the pace and add sub­stan­tial inter­est to kitchen cre­atives work­ing with por­to­bel­los. Think quinoa, bul­gur, bar­ley and farro.
On the legume side of the dish– gar­ban­zos, black beans, lentils and broad beans will add some depth, color and dimen­sion. Exper­i­ment for per­fect com­bi­na­tions with other ingre­di­ents to high­light cer­tain eth­nic pos­si­bil­i­ties.

Seafood choices prove ample too, with shrimp, crab and lob­ster pour­ing on the deca­dence. Meat lovers will lobby pancetta, sausage, pork, beef and bacon for inclu­sion.

Nut meats and seeds com­pli­ment var­i­ous blends used for stuff­ing a mush­room cap. Most impor­tant, select them for their com­pat­i­bil­ity with the other ele­ments. Wal­nuts seem a good match for bleu and feta cheeses. Basil and mint marry well.

A bal­samic reduc­tion may well be the most pop­u­lar and com­plex fin­ish to a stuffed mush­room dish. Very good stuff!


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