When I have no concrete plan for dinner, the resulting concoction is usually a mishmash of whatever’s on hand.
Most recently the result included portobello mushrooms as the base, and from there it got mashed – literally.
I thought this meal would be a great opportunity to share my thought process when cooking on the fly.
Here’s what happened.
I wanted dinner on the table in less than half an hour.
The most substantial “base” on hand was portobello mushroom caps, but it could have easily been basmati rice or pasta – any blank canvas that cooks in 20 minutes or less. I popped the mushrooms in the oven at 450° while I continued to brainstorm.
I started to imagine a stuffed or stacked portobello.
Then I needed some layers.
Yesterday I made my biweekly batch of hummus (thanks Bon Appetit for the fresh recipe in this month’s issue), and used some of it to mash with potatoes for the second layer. Making mashed potatoes without milk, cream or butter isn’t always easy, but I have found tahini or hummus to be great stand-in options.
And then some lightness.
At this point it was just mushrooms + potatoes – pretty heavy. I pulled out some rainbow chard, green garlic, and red onion to quickly sauté together for a lighter layer. I splashed the pan with some apple cider vinegar for a bit of acidity and brightness as well.
The final stack was an absolute mishmash, but one that worked out well. These concoctions are usually a success, and working with things like mashed potatoes and guacamole are a pretty surefire way to end up with deliciousness.
The meal also looked super pretty and was on the table in under 30 minutes, which is always a bonus!