There is something so British about leeks in winter. I love their green sweet oniony softness, juxtaposed against the salty tang of blue Stilton cheese and the savoury earthiness of mushrooms. This is a happily vegetarian dish that’s as deeply umami flavoured as a beef steak and as warm and soothing as my Celtic sheepskin house boots!
It’s also a doddle to prepare.
Leek, Stilton & Walnut Stuffed Mushrooms (Serves 1 as a main course or 2 as an appetiser) (V)
2 large Portabello mushrooms (approximately 80g each)
1tbsp olive oil
1 medium to large leek (about 89g prepared weight), washed and thinly sliced
30g walnuts, chopped or broken into smallish pieces
50g Stilton cheese, cut into small dice
40g creme fraiche
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Pre-heat the oven to 200℃, gas mark 6
Wipe the mushrooms with a damp paper towel and remove the bottom of the stalk with a small sharp knife so it’s level with the gills.
Place the mushrooms stalk side up on a silicon baking mat (or a sheet of non-stick foil) on a baking tray. Brush with olive oil and season with salt and pepper
Cook in the pre-heated oven for about 6 minutes, or until the natural mushroom juices just start to appear on the surface of the mushroom. Take out of the oven and set aside.
In a lidded frying pan, melt the butter over a moderate heat. When it is foaming add the sliced leeks. Give the leeks a good stir to make sure they are evenly coated in the butter, then put the lid on the pan and gently cook the leeks for 5 minutes until they are soft but not coloured.
Take the frying pan off the heat and add the walnuts, the creme fraiche and the Stilton cheese to the leeks. Mix everything together well. Season with a pinch of salt (don’t go overboard as Stilton cheese is already quite salty) and a generous grinding of black pepper. Stir again and re-check the seasoning.
Divide the stuffing equally between the mushrooms (don’t worry about piling it too high, the mixture is quite well-behaved and won’t collapse in the heat of the oven).
Bake the stuffed mushrooms in the oven for a further 10 minutes until they are heated through and turning golden on the surface.
Serve immediately with a simple watercress or rocket salad, perhaps dressed with a little walnut oil and the finest balsamic vinegar you can find.
Without the walnuts, the creamy leek and mushroom sauce would make a delicious accompaniment to grilled chicken or steak
This recipe easily adapts to feeding more or less people by increasing or reducing the ingredients proportionately.
Carbohydrate 10g Protein 12g - per stuffed mushroom