Leek and Gruyere Stuffed Mushrooms

Yeh I know, stuffed vegetables….. very retro. There was a time when I could first afford to eat out where the meat free option (yes there was generally only one) was some vegetable or other filled with a bland concoction of rice and diced frozen vegetables then smothered in cheese. I kept the cheese in for this one (it helps everything to stick together) but removed the rice and used a few fresh breadcrumbs to absorb some of the liquid instead. These go rather well with oven chips!

To make four mushrooms – which is enough for four people…

4 large flattish field or portobello mushrooms – peeled and the stem cut out
2 medium leeks – cut in half lenthwise then cut into thin slices
3 spring onions – finely sliced
100g or so of Gruyere cheese – grated. You could use a strong Cheddar here too or Emmenthal would probably work quite well
a few glugs of olive oil – about 4 tablespoons
2 large handfuls of fresh breadcrumbs – about 3 slices worth
a pinch of nutmeg
black pepper
assorted seeds for sprinkling

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a pan then add the leeks and spring onion, put the lid on and sweat down until tender. This should take about 10-15 minutes. Take the lid off, remove from the heat and allow to cool. Add a pinch of nutmeg, some pepper. Salt isn’t really needed as the cheese has a saltiness about it. Add the grated cheese and mix well.

Place the mushrooms round side down on a lightly oiled oven tray. Divide the leek and cheese mixture equally between the mushrooms, pressing the stuffing down well. Sprinkle some seeds over the top – I used pine nuts and sesame. You could also use pumpkin, sunflower, flax. Drizzle with a little oil then place in the oven at 200C for about 20 minutes until the mushrooms are cooked through and the tops are browning.

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