Mushrooms stuffed with brie: ideal veggie treat for summer

The Weekend Foodie: A summer dish of mushrooms and cheese, followed by a peach melba recipe
Mushrooms stuffed with brie: ideal veggie treat for summer

Brie Stuffed Mushroom Caps with Courgette and Spinach, by Di Curtin

HOT weather calls for lighter foods that are easier to digest. Slaving over a hot stove is the last thing we need as the mercury rises.

I’m forgoing meat this weekend for a veggie-based feast which fits the summer bill.

Large field mushrooms are denser in texture than their button mushroom cousins. Readily available in supermarkets, these large brown gilled beauties are perfect for stuffing.

For this, I’m using traditional Brie de Meux. This French soft cheese is made in a designated area, with its own AOC, much like wine. It takes its name from the Brie region in northern France, made near the town of Meaux.

Full of flavour, Brie de Meaux brings deep, earthy, milky flavours to the dish, with even a hint of mushroominess in the very ripe version.

I’m using it to stuff the undersides of the mushrooms and lightly grill, then serving with a buttery mix of courgette and spinach.

This is perfect as a light supper with crusty bread, or make it more substantial with a big bowl of crunchy French fries and garlic mayo

Keeping the French theme, Peach Melba was first created by chef Auguste Escoffier, the grandfather of fine French cuisine. He made it to honour Australian opera singer Dame Nellie Melba, after watching her perform in London.

Escoffier married poached peaches, vanilla ice cream and fresh raspberry sauce in a dessert fit for the lady for whom it was made.

Elegantly simple, this pud perfectly represents its namesake and echoes the sunny summer season.

Brie Stuffed Mushroom Caps with Courgette and Spinach

Ingredients (serves 4) Butter for cooking Olive oil 2 small onions, peeled and finely chopped 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed 2 courgettes, chopped Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper 8 large flat mushrooms, wiped and stalks trimmed 150g Brie de Meaux, in slices 250g baby spinach leaves, rinsed and spin dried Method Melt butter with a splash of oil in a large non stick pan.

Add onions, garlic and courgettes and fry gently over medium heat until softened and tender and beginning to caramelise. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Remove from pan and reserve, keeping hot.

Melt another knob of butter in the pan and add mushrooms. Cook gently till tender, turning over to cook both sides. Season.

When the mushrooms are done, transfer to a baking tray with the cap sides down. Place slices of brie on the hollows of the mushrooms Place under a pre-heated grill till the cheese begins to soften and melt. Season.

Meanwhile, return courgette mix to pan and add spinach leaves.

Toss over medium heat till spinach is just wilted. Check seasoning.

Arrange mushrooms on four warmed plates and serve with the courgette and spinach mix on the side.

Serve with crusty bread and/or French fries with garlic mayo

Peach Melba

Ingredients (serves 4) 4 large ripe peaches 500mls water 2-3 tbsp caster sugar (to taste) juice of half a lemon 1 vanilla pod, split lengthways (optional) 250g fresh raspberries 1 tbsp icing sugar, sifted good vanilla ice cream to serve 1 tbsp slivered almonds (optional) Method Halve peaches and carefully remove stones.

Place water and sugar in a pan and stir over low heat till sugar is dissolved. Add lemon juice and vanilla pod if using.

Bring to bubbling for a few minutes then add peaches and turn down to a gentle simmer.

Poach the peaches for a few minutes till tender.

Remove from syrup into a bowl and leave to cool slightly. Reserve syrup.

Slip off peach skins then leave to cool completely.

For the raspberry sauce, puree berries in a blender with icing sugar and 1 tbsp reserved syrup Freeze remaining syrup for another time.

To serve, place two peach halves per person in a bowl with a scoop of good quality vanilla ice cream in between.

Drizzle a little raspberry syrup over each bowl and serve the remainder separately at the table.

Scatter over the almonds if using.

Wine match

THIS weekend, I’ve found a wine which really loves mushrooms! This red will bring plenty of fruit whilst echoing the earthy flavours of the mushrooms and rich Brie de Meaux cheese.

The Second Fleet 2019 from the famous Coonawarra region of Australia is made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot grapes. This is a fragrant combination in the glass, rich in luscious ripe bramble and hedgerow fruit scents, with a hint of smooth cassis and the gentle hum of ripe damsons in the background when you taste it.

A dark fruit packed combo of flavours leap out of the glass, backed up with some firm tannins. It wraps itself around the mushrooms and their stuffing, as well as the garlic flavours of the courgette and spinach mix.

Find it at Lidl this week, as part of the wine collection on offer over the summer. Serve in generously sized glasses to swirl and let the flavours develop before sipping.

On the shelves at Lidl now, €9.99 a bottle.

RECEIPT

MAIN MEAL

Onions, net 69c

Courgettes x 2 pack, €1.19

Baby Spinach 250g pack, €1.09

Flat Field Mushrooms 2 x 250g pack, €1.98

Brie de Meaux x 165g piece, €2.49

Total: €7.44

DESSERT

Peaches x 4 pack, €1.99

Raspberries x 250g pack, €2.99

Vanilla Ice Cream x 750g tub, €3

Total: €7.98

GRAND TOTAL: €15.42

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