I wish I wrote in my journal more often than I do, but I seem to only find myself there when I am sad, working through decisions, or traveling. In each new journal, I have a list of goals on the back page. I always know where to find them, and it's fun looking at journals past to see what I actually attempted to pursue. The six pack abs and fluent spanish and are still pending a number of journals later. For some reason I've taken more action on those in my present journal, and in regards to cooking, I have: 'learn to make a tasty roast chicken' and 'perfect at least three new sauces'.

This recipe, sent to be by my Aunt Suzy who heard it on NPR's Splendid Table, certainly knocks out one of the three. It is easy, sweet, fresh and versatile. It is fairly thick, and would make an amazing spread on a sandwich. You could even thin it out and make it a salad dressing. Like I said, versatile, like the favorite sweatshirt of sauces.


4 Large Portabello Mushrooms
2 Bunches Fresh Spinach, Chopped
2 Cups Cooked Brown Rice, still warm
Zest of One Lemon
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper

GEORGIAN CILANTRO SAUCE // The sauce is adapted from Martha Rose Shulman's series Recipes for Health in The New York Times. It keeps in the fridge for about 5 days, but be warned that the garlic develops as it sits and effects your breath accordingly.

2 oz Dried Apricots
1 Cup Boiling Water
1/3 Cup Toasted Walnuts
2 Garlic Cloves (to taste), halved, green shoots removed
1/4 Cup Fresh Lemon Juice
1/2 tsp. Salt (more to taste)
2 cups Cilantro, coarsely chopped
1 Cup Parsley, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup coarsely chopped mixed Basil, Tarragon, and Dill
1/4 Cup Walnut Oil (Extra Virgin Olive Oil works fine too)
3/4 Cup soaking water from the Apricots, as needed
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Pinch of Red Pepper Flakes

For the Sauce:
1. Place the dried apricots in a bowl and pour on the boiling water. Let sit for at least an hour, more if possible, even overnight. Drain over a measuring cup and retain 3/4 cup of the soaking water.
2. Turn on a food processor fitted with the steel blade, and drop in the garlic. When it is chopped and adhering to the sides of the bowl, stop the machine and scrape down the bowl. Add the walnuts, and process with the garlic. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the drained apricots, the lemon juice, salt, pepper and red pepper to the bowl, and process to a puree. Add the cilantro and other chopped herbs, and puree, stopping the machine to scrape down the sides several times. Combine the walnut oil and soaking water from the apricots, and with the machine running, gradually add it to the puree. Process until smooth. Transfer to a bowl. Taste and adjust salt. Best at room temperature.

For the Mushrooms:
Oven at 375’

3. Remove the stems from the mushrooms, brush both sides with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and fresh pepper. Put them on a baking sheet, and bake on the upper rack for 8 minutes to soften. Remove.
4. Remove the stems from the spinach and give it a rough chop. Saute the spinach in 2 tbsp. olive oil until just wilted. Add to the warm brown rice and mix together. Add the lemon zest, pinch of salt and pepper. Amount of oil is your discretion here.
5. Add a heaping half cup of the spinach and rice mixture onto the gill side of the mushrooms and sprinkle with fresh herbs and desired amount of sauce.

Reader Comments (37)

Best one yet, i tasted the sauce, deelish.

November 5, 2009 | Unregistered Commentercyddawg

oh. my. gosh. I am so hungry.

November 5, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDavid Morrison

you're my favorite place to eat :)

November 5, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterpierre

oh my gosh, this looks so good! i will put it on my short list.

November 5, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLainey

ahh! the photographs on your entire site are bee-utiful, just absolutely stark and lucious all at once. what fun!

Wonderful flavors here (love the thought of the apricot & herbs) -- and what a gorgeous presentation. As for journaling, I've really got to get back to that myself. Used to be an every day (or nearly every day) occurrence. These days I'm lucky to pick it up every now and again. I miss all that goal setting!

November 5, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterlo

Those blue and white bowls remind me of my childhood in your mom's kitchen. Your food/recipes/images are just so inviting...always makes me feel like cooking. One of these days, I may actually do it.

November 5, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTerri

Sara! These pictures are just perfect! What kind of lens do you have? The detail of the mushroom is amazing! And the final picture looks like it is straight out of a magazine. Well done!

November 5, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCaitlin @ Roost

This really sounds special. I fully intend to try this one, and soon!

November 5, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterThe Ordinary Vegetarian

Wow I love how garlicky and delicious this looks...yum! I also love how meaty portabellos can be....mmmmmm :)

November 5, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterNutmeg Nanny

[...] up but when I saw this photo series, the recipe looked too good not to feature. Go say hello to Sprouted Kitchen and her Stuffed Portabellas with Herb Sauce.  Your eyes will be glad you did. Though you may need to answer to your appetite [...]

November 5, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterThe Mushroom Channel » B

What a good idea about the goals on the last page! I have been looking at journals lately, 2010 seems like the year to really commit to one, no? Now I just need to find the one that seems the right fit.

This looks wonderful, as usual, and I must say that I adore the Recipes for Health series. I've cooked from it so many times.

November 5, 2009 | Unregistered Commentertara

A beautiful dish. And the sauce sounds very intriguing.

That is the most beautiful plate! And the sauce sounds absolutely amazing. I can't wait to try it. Love the versatility - so key in a sauce. I also love those blender shots. Spectacular!

November 5, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDana

I now actually find myself waiting with baited breath for your next blog post. I am thrilled with this recipe and will try it out this weekend. I can tell I'm going to love it. And, I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one who only finds time for the journal during those particular moments!

November 5, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterEl

This looks amazing. Every time I see a great recipe involving mushrooms I die a little inside because I know that if I make them I'll be the only one to eat them. For some reason I'm surrounded by mushroom-phobes. I might have to make these for myself some night anyway!

November 5, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMollyCookie

I don't cook often with portabellos. This dish is beautiful.

November 5, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterHélène

This has serious thanksgiving potential. A classic made better, plus apricots--yum.

November 5, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterElizabeth

this sauce looks unbelievable. thank you! how long do you think it would keep in the fridge?

November 6, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterleslie

This looks great! Your mention of journal writing resonates with me. I used to be a much more avid journaler, but now I use mine in similar situations. I am sure I, too, have pages of unreached aspirations, but I guess part of life is getting there slowly.

November 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnna

This is a seriously great post. The journal part is both relatable, hilarious and inspiring (multiple journals? impressive!) The portabello and sauce recipe look amazing and pictures are gorgeous. I can't wait to try the sauce. It looks wonderful over the stuffed mushrooms. Thx for helping me start Fri am off right!

November 6, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterrachel

I have been craving portabello mushrooms lately and this recipe looks like just the ticket! YUM!

November 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterEmily

This looks fabulous. This is very hearty and wholesome. I'm loving it.

November 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDivina

This looks so delicious - fresh and earthy all at the same time! I should really make it sometime. I love the photos of the blending process.

November 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterIsabelle

Wow wee! These look so good. I had a friend just give me some King Bolete mushrooms today. I also have some chanterelles in the fridge, from another friend, so mushrooms on the mind.(we live on the North Oregon Coast) This recipe is in the "have to make" File.

November 8, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDana Zia

Yummy! This will be one of my go-to moves for the holidays. Can't wait to try it.

November 8, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterkellie frank

I do the same thing with my journals. Looking back you'd think I led a life filled to the brim with crazy drama. So not the case!

This sauce sounds amazing. I don't think I've ever cooked with dried apricots. I just bought a really old Catalan cookbook that has such interesting sauces - but they suddenly feel tame compared to this one.

November 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAllison Arevalo

I'll take this favorite sweatshirt sauce over six-pack abs, any day. Particularly beautiful photos here, Sara and Hugh.

November 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJess

I'm inspired by everything you make. Lovely.

November 10, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterkimberley

Yes, I think this definitely knocks down one of those goals! Looks amazing. And I love the blender sequence photos.

November 10, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterfresh365

This sauce is the BEST! I think I could bathe in it. You are a great food stylist, the mushrooms look so pretty with the chives and the sauce decoratively placed on top. Way to go Sara!

November 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSusan

Your blog is beautiful.

I love to cook and am learning to be more creative as I go along, inserting apples into soups, and such.

Thank you for the inspiration.

Vicki in Seattle

November 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterVicki

The mushroom photographs are simply stunning and the cilantro sauce is dreamy and amazing. Versatile recipes like this are a treasure. Thank you for such valuable dishes and a beautiful blog. xoxo

November 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterWhite On Rice Couple

I made this dish last night. The only change I made was to use quinoa instead of rice. My portabellos were huge and needed longer than 8 minutes in the oven. The dish was beautiful all put-together and tasted delicious!

November 16, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterecl

Wow, everything on your blog looks absolutely delicious and I'm so impressed by your photos!!!

November 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSimply Life

I am in LOVE with this recipe. I put this sauce on everything!
Thank you.

February 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAllison Stutz

[...] Stuffed Portobello’s with Herb Sauce [...]

November 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterVeg Out This Thanksgiving!

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