These are gorgeous! And work well without bacon if you want an all-vegetable dish.
6 large brown mushrooms 3 Tbsp olive oil 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped 1 red pepper (bell pepper/capsicum), halved, cored, seeded and diced 125g (about 4 oz) thickly sliced dry-cured streaky bacon, chopped 2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped ½ tsp smoked paprika 3 medium vine tomatoes, diced 1 cup small cubes day-old sour dough bread 2 Tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley 1½ Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F).
Trim mushrooms, reserve stalks, and wipe clean with damp paper towels. Chop stalks finely. Brush mushroom caps on the outside (not the gills) with oil and transfer to a shallow ovenproof dish.
2 Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a frying pan (skillet) and add onion, pepper, mushroom stalks and bacon. Cook over medium heat for 7-10 minutes until tender. Add garlic and paprika and cook through for 1 minute, then add tomatoes and cook for 2-3 minutes more. Season with a quarter teaspoon of salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
3 Season mushrooms with salt and pepper then spoon in stuffing. Mix bread cubes, parsley and extra virgin olive oil and spoon over the top of mushrooms. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until mushroom caps are tender and topping is golden. Serve hot.
It’s important to use good bacon – avoid wet bacon, or bacon floating in a bag of moisture. What colour should bacon be? It’s natural colour is not pink – that’s an additive. Look for natural bacon that is more brown than pink, and bacon that has been dry-cured.