Many of the recipes of Southern Appalachia are downright wine friendly though. This version of stuffed mushrooms looks like a real winner, perfect for a rich, nutty white or  fruity red. I'd opt for a nice Sangiovese, maybe a 2007 Chianti Classico which is plump with fruit.

Mushrooms Stuffed with Rice and Greens
serves 4

The Iron Mountain Inn Bed and Breakfast and cabins is located just above Watauga Lake in the Cherokee National Forest. Set high atop a mountain with a section of the Appalachian Trail along the ridge behind the Inn, they welcome guests from around the world to share the peace and quiet and the glorious views. The Cherokee National Forest is home to about 1,500 black bears, but you probably won’t see them. And in the spring that thunderlike roar you hear is the wild mountain turkey finding his mate. If you like to fish, this is the place for you. There are 154 species of fish in the forest. This recipe is from the inn. I can see this as a hot appetizer, two on a plate for luncheon, or as a side to dinner. Try to use mushrooms that are 4½ to 5 inches in diameter. To prevent the mushrooms from becoming waterlogged, remove any sand or dirt with a brush and wipe with damp paper towels instead of rinsing with water.


2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small white onion, chopped
4 cups sliced escarole or Swiss chard
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 cup brown rice, cooked according to package directions
½ cup chopped roasted red bell peppers
4 large portobello mushrooms, stems discarded
½ cup prepared hummus, preferably basil flavored
3 Roma tomatoes, sliced
¼ cup chopped walnuts
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

 Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium-low heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, or until softened. Add the escarole and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, or until wilted. Remove from the heat and stir in the rice and peppers.

Place the mushrooms, gill side up, on a rimmed baking sheet. Spread with the hummus and spoon the rice mixture over the top, spreading it to the edges. Arrange the tomato slices on top and sprinkle with the walnuts and Parmesan.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the mushrooms are tender. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Note: Although nearly half the calories of hummus come from fat, virtually none of it is saturated. Add olive oil and walnuts and you have a delectable dose of monounsaturated fats to keep you hunger-free for hours.

—From Cider Beans, Wild Greens, and Dandelion Jelly by Joan E. Aller/Andrews McMeel Publishing