Spinach & Lamb Stuffed Mushrooms

Samira Ardalan - Monday, December 05, 2016



Spinach & Lamb Stuffed Mushrooms in Spinach Broth




How it's Done:


Lamb & Spinach Stuffing: First, I seared a bone-in lamb steak in a cast iron dutch oven pan, which had been seasoned & marinated overnight with fresh thyme, rosemary, garlic, salt and pepper, then deglazed & simmered with vegetable broth, rainbow carrots and yellow onion. After about 5 hours, the meat became tender, moist and flavorful, creating a nourishing rich broth for soups & sauces. The lamb however, I pulled a part into pieces and mixed with simple sauteed spinach that had been cooked in extra virgin olive oil, garlic, salt, and black pepper. The carrots were succulent and colorful to add alongside the ingredients, so I made sure to add them inside the lamb and spinach mixture before topping off with a fresh shredded mozzarella and parsley blend before broiling. To serve, I poured a bit of that wonderful spinach broth created when sauteing the vegetable on low heat with the garlic and finished with fresh lemon. The lamb preparation is essentially a set it and forget it process and was done in no time. You can even prepare the meat the night before and then assemble these mushrooms as appetizers for your next event!



10-12 cremini (baby portobello) mushrooms, cleaned, stems removed (cooling)

10 oz bone-in Lamb steak or lamb shank (heating)

4-6 garlic cloves (heating)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper (heating)

1/3 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese (heating)

Pinch of grated Parmesan cheese (heating)

1 medium yellow onion, quartered (heating)

6-8 cups of spinach (cooling)

2-3 large rainbow carrots, roughly chopped (heating)

1 Tbsp chopped fresh Rosemary (heating)

1 Tbsp chopped fresh Thyme (heating)

3-4 cups vegetable broth (heating)

6 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil (heating)


Preheat the oven to 375°F and arrange the mushrooms on a baking sheet and drizzle with a good amount of extra virgin olive oil, then top with salt and fresh black pepper. Add a few smashed garlic cloves and 1/2 tbsp each of minced rosemary and thyme. Roast for 12 minutes then remove from oven and set aside until it's time to stuff them.


Lamb: The night before, or 3-4 hours advance, marinate your bone-in lamb steak in rosemary, thyme, garlic, salt, black pepper and olive oil. When you're ready to prepare it the next day, heat olive oil in a dutch oven pan over medium-high heat and begin to sear the meat on both sides for 3-4 minutes or until golden brown. Add rainbow carrots and onions then add enough vegetable broth to cover the ingredients. Cover with a lid and let simmer for 4-5 hours on low heat until the meat is tender and moist. Once cooked and cooled down a bit, pull the meat off the bone and set aside with a few of the carrots to mix with the spinach.


Spinach: Heat olive oil in a sautée pan on medium low heat. Add chopped garlic and let it slowly cook before adding the spinach. Little by little add all your spinach and tiny pinches of salt and pepper each time until it's wilted perfectly. Then, turn off the heat before the spinach browns and add a squeeze of lemon juice. Combine the spinach and braised lamb together in a bowl.


Arrange semi-cooked mushrooms stem side up on the baking sheet and begin to fill with the mixture. Once generously filled, sprinkle a fresh blend of mozzarella, Parmesan, and parsley on top for a salty, rich and creamy finish. Broil until cheese is browned and mushrooms are juicy and tender, about 8-10 minutes.


May your soul be nourished!

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Photography by Samira Ardalan

Ghormeh Sabzi - Persian Herb Stew

Samira Ardalan - Monday, November 07, 2016

To achieve a balanced taste, and therefore a balanced temperament, Persian flavorings such as dried limes, fenugreek, parsley, and saffron are delicately mixed together to create this exotic yet simple, healthy, and colorful dish.



In the world of hot and cold foods, Ghormeh Sabzi is the perfect representation of a balanced dish. The cool-tempered herbs are cooked together with heating-tempered ingredients such as onions, fenugreek, and turmeric to create a harmonious aroma and nourishing meal for all temperaments. This dish is especially comforting in the colder winter months. You can also substitute dried herbs purchased from your local grocery, but it will not provide the same natural flavor and health benefits. Avicenna always taught us to cook with fresh ingredients, so whenever we cook we try to use ingredients that are seasonal and picked fresh from an organic local farm. Halal beef stew meat is incorporated into this dish to give a rich and savory flavor and if eaten in moderation, beef can provide many positive benefits.






  • 2 pounds meat (lamb or beef) washed and cubed
  • 1 cup red kidney beans, soaked overnight (canned will do, but add them at the very end)
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 bunch fresh fenugreek, or 1 tablespoon dried fenugreek
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 4 green onions (green stems only)
  • 4 bunches flat-leaf parsley
  • 3-4 dried lemons (limoo amani), or 1 lemon freshly squeezed
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric
  • water
  • kosher salt & fresh black pepper to taste



  1. Rinse the fresh herbs under cold water and pat dry, then finely chop the herbs (or use a food processor).
  2. Cook the fresh herbs on medium high heat with 2 tablespoons of olive oil for 15 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large stew pot, saute onions on medium heat in 2 tablespoons of olive oil with salt and pepper.
  4. Add your stew meat, turmeric, salt, pepper and begin to brown the meat with the onions on all sides.
  5. Once browned, dd soaked dried beans, cooked fresh herbs, and dried lemons.
  6. Pour in enough water to cover the mixture by 1 1/2 to 2 inches, then bring to a boil and them cover and simmer for 1 1/2 hours.
  7. Adjust salt and add more water if necessary. Let simmer for another 2-3 hours.


The longer Ghormeh Sabzi sits, the better! I suggest preparing the night before and serving the next day. Serve with fluffy white basmati rice and plain greek yogurt. You can also make the delicious Persian Cucumber Yogurt Sauce, which pairs perfectly. Comment below if you'd like to see this recipe!


Avicenna Cuisine Food & Health Guidebook