I had friends over on Saturday. We were going to a hen’s night together so I asked them to come over beforehand. I organised some chips and dips and cheeses and faffed about getting ready in between locating cheese knives and sourcing plates for (store bought) dips. Everyone thinks chips and dips are easy, but really, they’re fiddly. I have nothing against cheese and biccies (in fact, I quite enjoy them) but there are lots of bowls and knives and plates to clear away afterwards. Continue reading “Easy appetiser bread and entertaining”
Pesto mushrooms and rainy days
The rain in Sydney at the moment is ridiculous. It’s perseverant, constant, irritating. Patches of blue sky are hard to come by and you can’t help but be a little more sedentary than usual.
Yesterday, out of the blue came a little visitor. He was wet and most perturbed by the rain and sought shelter on our balcony. He was a shock of colour in great contrast to the dreary, rainy weather and had such character that it made me smile. Mother darling and I cooed and found some grain bread for him to munch on, so he stuck around for an hour before flying off.
Lo and behold, today he has returned! I hope this little Rosella continues to visit during this rainy weather, it does you good to be reminded of the brighter things in life when the weather seems hell-bent on making you mopey. Obviously the promise of good food has brought him back (what a clever little birdie), which is quite human of him!
In honour of the little birdie friend, here is a simple but stunning dish. There’s lots of colour, lashings of flavour and a great deal of character. Chase away those rainy blues with some pesto-stuffed mushrooms.
Pesto stuffed mushrooms
- 180g sourdough bread
- 6 large mushrooms
- 2/3 cup basil pesto
- Sprig of basil (optional)
- 250g cherry truss tomatoes
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Preheat oven to 180°C and spray a large baking tray with oil.
Cut your truss tomatoes into three or four sections, place on the tray and spray with some oil. Pop them in the oven for 10 minutes while you start on the mushrooms.
Give your mushrooms a quick wash to remove excess dirt and remove their stalks. Set them aside to make the pesto filling.
Cut the crusts off your sourdough and discard them. Chop the crust-less pieces into thirds and blitz them in a food processor for about four minutes (or until they resemble bread crumbs.) Season breadcrumbs with salt and pepper, then add in thepesto and mix to combine. If you’re using jarred pesto (like I did), try to get good quality, as this is one of the main flavours! Throw in some chopped basil and give it one final mix before putting it into your mushrooms.
Your mushrooms should be mostly dry now – stuff a generous amount of pesto filling into the mushroom’s hollow and season with salt and pepper. Arrange them in the tray amongst the tomatoes and bake for another 15 minutes.
Remove from the oven and drizzle the tomatoes with balsamic vinegar. To serve, top the mushrooms with parmesan shavings or pine nuts and top the tomatoes with the excess liquid left in the pan.
As well as using up leftover bread from Saturday morning, these mushies are vegan as well…as long as you don’t serve them with parmesan shavings like I did!