Easy dinner recipes: Ragouts, gratins and more for Meatless Monday

Easy dinner recipes: Ragouts, gratins and more for Meatless Monday
Creamy and woodsy.
Recipe: Wild mushroom ragout
(Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

It's Monday, and you know what that means. Even if you have no intention of going vegetarian, it doesn't hurt to give up meat once in a while. Meatless Monday is a perfect time to try, and with these hearty ideas, you might never notice that something is missing.

Wild mushroom ragout: Assorted wild mushrooms are cooked with leeks, fresh herbs, dry white wine and broth, the ragout thickened with tangy crème fraîche. Ready in only 30 minutes, the ragout can be served alone like a stew, or spooned like a sauce over pasta, rice or polenta.


Mushroom and spinach gratin: Looking at the finished product, you might never guess this gratin has only six ingredients. Browned butter-sauteed mushrooms are combined with wilted spinach and reduced heavy cream in a wonderfully rich dish from Guy Savoy that comes together in only 40 minutes.

Gene Autry stuffed mushrooms: Take large white mushrooms and stuff them with a medley of sauteed onion and shallot, breadcrumbs, fresh parsley and grated Parmesan and Gruyere cheeses. Hungry yet? You can have stuffed mushrooms of your own in only 45 minutes. You can find the recipe below.


Active work time: 35 minutes | Total preparation time: 45 minutes | Serves 8

24 large white mushrooms

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted

Salt, pepper

1/2 cup finely minced onions

1/2 cup finely minced shallots

3 tablespoons oil

2/3 cup Madeira

1/2 cup plain dry bread crumbs

2/3 cup grated Gruyere cheese

2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese


2/3 cup minced parsley

1/3 cup whipping cream

1. Remove stems from mushrooms. Finely mince stems and set aside. Place mushroom caps on baking sheet. Brush caps with melted butter and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

2. Cook onions and shallots in oil and any remaining butter in skillet over medium heat until tender but not browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Add minced mushroom stems to onion mixture. Raise heat to high and sauté until liquid is absorbed, 4 to 5 minutes. Add Madeira and bring to boil. Boil until liquid evaporates. Cool. Add bread crumbs, Gruyere and Parmesan cheeses and parsley to mushroom mixture. Add enough cream to bind mixture. Adjust seasoning. Spoon stuffing into mushroom caps on baking sheet.

3. Bake at 375 degrees until hot and bubbly, 10 to 12 minutes.

Each serving: 264 calories; 335 mg sodium; 47 mg cholesterol; 21 grams fat; 9 grams carbohydrates; 9 grams protein; 0.38 gram fiber.

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