I realise that whilst I bang on about The Big V and the lack of imagination that restaurant chefs have when it comes to vegetarian cooking, I'm not exactly pushing the boundaries with options either...
... The Viking likes his meat and two veg... just with no meat... which is why he'll happily chow down on a meat substitute veggie burger rather than a plate of 'tomato goo' or the goats cheese something he's often offered. He doesn't want to be treated differently. If we're all having pie, he wants pie... how hard can it be?
So today's offer is in honour of him (and the fact that the local market had some stonking great big field mushrooms in and I just couldn't resist.) It makes a substantial lunch with a big salad or, if you're like The Big V and from anywhere north of Watford, place one between two chunky pieces of bread and eat anytime you fancy!
I've made a pesto out of all the herbs in the garden and some that I had turning yellow on the kitchen window-sill. It's got basil, coriander, thyme and rosemary plus garlic, pine nuts and olive oil all whizzed up with the hand-held. I've held off with the Parmesan, firstly because it's not actually vegetarian and secondly because I want the mushrooms to bake in the oven and infuse with the pesto flavours first and then I will crumble a strong salty cheddar onto his and grate some Parmesan onto mine and grill them at the end.
Lay the mushrooms into a baking dish or tray and spread a spoonful of the pesto on each mushroom, season well and drizzle with some more olive oil and cover in foil. Bake in a high oven for 20 minutes or so, basting as often as you please, until the mushrooms are tender and browned.
Then top with your favourite cheese and grill till golden... I have to say that for a fast, plucked out of nowhere idea these were so intensely tasty and Oh.. totally delicious!
eat and of course, enjoy!