Love mushrooms? What about the large ones? Do you love them too? Do you love stuffing them with whatever is leftover in the fridge and then throwing them into the oven? Yeah, me too.
Try this latest creation and it will use up that sad and lonely leftover spinach which just wants to call a new dish their home. It is an easy starter course if you decide to entertain your amigos with an evening of gastronomy and it’s also perfect if you are on a tight budget.
I like to serve this before a rich main and when I know I will be providing a comfortable 20 minute break between the 2 courses. Why? Well it is fresh and juicy and deceptively filling (only temporarily though) as the mushroom omits an impressive amount of water when baked and the tomato slices like to join in on the watery fun by releasing their own liquids. So when you take a bite, these flavourful juices release and add more bulk to your mouthful. This then gives you a momentarily satisfied fullness that lasts through the nice break until your main arrives.
Because it fills you for a brief period, I don’t bother serving it with anything on the side. It doesn’t require it. “But I want this as my main meal” you say! Well then serve it with a salad, flavoured rice, couscous or whatever your wee taste buds fancy.
Oh and just don’t do what I did when I made this the first time; I saw the tomatoes, the spinach, the mushrooms and the brie sitting in their respective positions in my fridge. My mind started to race; “What can I do? Hmmm, do I have garlic? Yep! Excellent, I know what I’ll do”. So I dashed to get my mushroom meal started and in my hasty preparation, I completely forgot to wash the spinach when I was rinsing the mushrooms. So what was meant to be a yummy, simple and smooth starter turned out to be a less succulent, uncomfortable, gritty mayhem. It looked pretty though. So I had another try and washed the spinach this time and yes! Success!! No grainy chaos to ruin the enjoyment of this dish and it was yummy. So this long story has a small tip… WASH THE SPINACH FIRST!
Prep and cooking time: 20 minutes
Music I listened to:
‘Never Think’, Robert Pattinson
‘5 Years Time (Sun, Sun, Sun)’, Noah and the Whale
Wine I drank: Chardonnay
- 75g/3oz butter
- 3 Portobello mushrooms or large field mushrooms
- 125g/4-5oz spinach
- 3 garlic cloves, finally chopped
- 1 large beef tomato
- 75g/3oz brie
Wash your mushrooms, spinach and tomato and pat dry with kitchen towel. Melt half the butter in a frying pan over a medium heat and cook the mushrooms on both sides until they start to soften but not burn. This should be about 3 minutes on each side. Transfer to a baking tray.
Melt the remaining butter in the pan over a low-medium heat and add the spinach. Once the spinach has wilted (about 3 minutes), add the chopped garlic and season.
A little word of advice; be sure to season this well and to your liking as this is added to the centre of the mushrooms and acts as the main flavour so be sure it has just that and taste-test!! Once seasoned correctly, spoon the spinach on top of the mushrooms.
Ok so the mushrooms and spinach are prepared. Move on to the tomato; Cut 3 thick rounds from the beef tomato and fry in the pan on both sides for about 30 seconds and place it on top of the spinach.
So, to the brie; cut relatively thin slices of the brie, about 3 or 4 slices per mushroom.If serving this immediately, place on to the mushroom, sprinkle with a little paprika and put under a preheated, medium grill for 5 minutes.
If on the other hand, you are like me and want to serve this later, leave the mushrooms on the baking tray and put the brie slices aside. About 15 minutes before you want to put the mushrooms in the oven, place the brie slices on a plate and into the freezer. Slightly freezing the brie delays it from cooking quicker than the mushroom and prevents it from burning while the mushroom is cooking. You want the brie and the mushroom to cross the cooked finishing line together! After the 15 minutes, take the brie slices out of their cold hiding place and put 3-4 slices on each mushroom. Sprinkle with paprika.
Now, put it into a preheated oven at 220°c/220°c fan for about 8-10 minutes until hot and the cheese has melted. Remove from the oven. Place on a warm plate sprinkled with more paprika.
And you’re done. Easy, easy, easy!