Recipe: Field Mushrooms, Mozzarella, Cannellini Beans & Flat Leaf Parsley

by Sasha Wilkins on April 25, 2011 · 16 comments

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Oh GOD this is so, so very good. Buttery & salty & rich & cheesy & and plate-lickingly good. Scrabbling around in the fridge for a home alone supper I found a bag of forgotten flat mushrooms, a tub of about to expire bocconcini buffalo mozzarella balls, a Tupperware of cannellini beans & some flat leaf parsley.

What I made with my Ready, Steady, Cook ingredients was a kind of light stew, served over some nutty wild rice from the back of the store cupboard, with some steamed spinach on the side. It took about fifteen minutes (but the rice will take at least 20). This is a plate that’s all about the balance of the meaty mushrooms, chewy cheese and dense beans, lifted with the sharp green herbs. On reflection, a squeeze of lemon at the end would have been pretty good too.

Get your rice cooking according to packet instructions. (I used a Merchant Gourmet mix of Camargue & wild rice for the nutty texture.) Heat lots of basic olive oil with a spoon of butter in a frying pan (skillet). Slice the flat mushrooms thickly (leave the stalks on), and cook them in the fat slowly with plenty of Maldon salt, a chopped garlic clove and some chopped flat leaf parsley. Don’t get them too hot as you want the juices not to evaporate & the garlic mustn’t brown.

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Once they are soft, slice in the mozzarella – this worked really well with the bocconcini balls as it made small discs, but you could just as easily chop up a normal ball. (I really think buffalo is best for this dish, and grated cheese won’t work at all). Then throw in your white beans.

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Lower the heat, gently stir the beans in but try not to disturb the cheese as you will end up with a big ball of rubber. Let the cheese gently heat through, melting slightly. The aim is for the mushrooms juices and the exudate from the cheese to form the sauce. (Mozzarella gives off loads of liquid when you heat it, so this dish won’t work in the same way with any other kind of cheese.)

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Once everything is heated through, add lots of freshly ground black pepper and check your seasoning. Strew the lot with a generous handful of chopped flat leaf parsley, and serve in bowls or shallow soup plates over rice. (A squeeze of lemon might be good too…)

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To serve two people, as above:
Flat mushrooms – at least three per person
carton of bocconcini mozzarella balls
half a can of cannellini beans
butter
Basic olive oil
Maldon salt
black pepper
flat leaf parsley
rice – I like a firm rice like wild or camargue

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