Getting a bit cheesy

Ingredients for ricotta stuffed mushrooms

I love cheese, but have always stuck to the blander ones like cheddar, edam or ementhaler.
Living with a vegetarian, I have discovered how to use some more adventurous types such as mozzarella, haloumi and ricotta.

At this point I have to confess I am a wholehearted fan of Jamie Oliver. Love his take on food!

One of my latest favorites is his ricotta stuffed mushrooms - pretty quick to knock up - delicious as a starter course or appetiser.

This is my version of the recipe in Jamie Oliver's book - "jamie's italy" - I prefer to top with mozarrella.

Ricotta stuffed mushrooms

But first - something about ricotta - it is a 'whey cheese' - made from the whey of cow's milk.
Thus it has a much lower fat content.
As a comparison, regular cheddar has about 33g fat per 100g, reduced fat cheddar 13g, and ricotta only 8g.
It is also relatively rich in protein compared to other cheeses.
A very versatile cheese, it is used in both savoury and sweet recipes.
You will need:

200 grams crumbly ricotta cheese
zest from 1 lemon
1 fresh red (or green) chilli, deseeded and chopped finely
freshly ground sea salt and black pepper
handful of chopped fresh oregano (or marjoram) leaves
large handful freshly grated parmesan cheese
grated mozzarella for topping
8 large flat brown mushrooms
extra virgin olive oil
handful of rocket leaves (or similar) for garnishing

What to do:

Crumble the ricotta in a bowl and mix in the lemon zest and chopped chilli, using a wooden spoon.
Stir in the chopped oregano, with salt and pepper to taste.
Mix in the grated parmesan.
Wash the mushrooms and carefully cut out the stems. (You can keep these to add in to a stew, or a salad)
Toss the mushrooms in the olive oil with some fresh ground black pepper.
Place the mushrooms upside down on a baking tray.
Fill the mushrooms with a spoonful of the ricotta mixture.
Sprinkle with grated mozzarella and a couple of twists of black pepper.

Bake in a preheated oven for 15 to 20 mins till golden brown.

Serve on a platter garnished with rocket leaves.

And the best part of this was the chilli and rocket came from our garden!
For more low carb and meat free recipes go to the recipes home page - here.

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