Caprese Mushroom Caps & Pesto Shrimp

Monday, June 9, 2014

The summer after I graduated college, I kept to a tight budget on weeknights. I’d come home from work and grab one or more of the following: cheddar Goldfish crackers from that gigantic milk carton-looking box; Trader Joes’ three buck chuck; and caprese salads. I’d drizzle the fresh tomatoes and smooth mozzarella in balsamic vinegar and settle in for a summer-long marathon of all seven seasons of Gilmore Girls start to finish (Luke and Lorelai forever). It was certainly not the most nutritious diet, but my metabolism and patience at 22 were different than at 29 (unfortunately and happily, respectively).

Caprese flavors are delicious anytime of year, but they really evoke summer feelings and memories for me. I upped the ante on a caprese meal recently by adding pesto and piling it all on top of portobello mushrooms.

Oh also, the cheese is melted. Melted cheese on anything is a win in my book.

I preheated the oven to 350° and whipped up some pesto with leftover herbs and cheese. I found feta, parsley, and chives lurking in the fridge, added two cloves of fresh garlic and olive oil, and zapped it in the mini processor.

After I took out the stems and gills, I roasted the plain mushroom caps for about 10 minutes gill-(less)side down. When I flipped them, I smeared on some of the pesto, then topped with fresh beefsteak tomato and a slice of mozz. As a general note, tomato seeds and the gelatinous nonsense inside gross me out, so I get rid of them.

I baked them for maybe 8 - 10 minutes, just enough to melt the cheese. While they cooked, I seasoned some shrimp with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes and quickly cooked them in olive oil.

I let them cool a bit while the mushrooms finished and tossed them with the rest of the pesto to serve.


I absolutely loved the blend of the juicy tomatoes, the melty cheese, the bold punch of flavor from the pesto, and the earthy, rich mushrooms. This could even work sans-shrimp as a great Meatless Monday option if you made more or used larger mushrooms. For my fellow carnivores, I'd certainly pair this side dish with poultry, beef, fish, and could also be done on the grill!


  1. Yummy - it's been WAY too long since I cooked mushrooms, and I'm going to give this twist a whirl. And I'm a true shrimp addict, so rest assured my dish will have the shrimp side.

    Now if I could only get Joel to agree to binge watch Gilmore Girls with me tonight and it'd seriously be a party.

  2. This looks so good!! Pinning immediately to make sometime soon!

  3. I make these frequently for myself with a layer of spinach or kale under the tomato, and replace the mushroom with chicken for my husband -- love! I'm intrigued by the chive pesto, since my chive plant is really growing out of control.

  4. Oh, caprese salad. 100% the thing I made the most the first year after college. So easy, sort of healthy, really fancy looking (conceptually speaking). I never would have thought to toss it on top of a mushroom cap, but why not? It sounds quite lovely and a bit lighter than that whole bit that one would normally do with breadcrumbs, etc.

    Also, I was so heart-touched by your dragonfly story - I know that they are dear to you and that is just a painfully beautiful reason why. I will know when to share that story with another someday. xx


You can be sweet or spicy, but no sour grapes.

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