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Roast Flat Mushrooms With Taleggio And Pancetta

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Serves 4 as a starter or 2 as a main course

4 large Portobello mushrooms
1 garlic clove, peeled
100g butter
8 slices of pancetta or smoked streaky bacon
200g Taleggio cheese
Bunch of watercress, picked into leaves
1 large shallot, finely chopped
Splash of Basic Vinaigrette


Preheat the grill to its highest setting. Place the mushrooms, gill side up, on a grill tray. Cut the garlic into slivers and squash these pieces into the gills of the mushrooms. Melt the butter and drizzle it over the mushrooms, then season them with salt and pepper. Place the mushrooms under the grill and cook for 10 minutes or until they are cooked through. Take care not to burn them. Meanwhile, heat a dry frying pan and fry the pancetta for a few minutes on each side until golden but not crisp. Set aside. When the mushrooms are cooked, remove them from the grill and place slices of the cooked pancetta on top of each mushroom. Cut the rind from the Taleggio and slice it into 4 pieces. If this proves tricky, then just cut it into small cubes. Arrange the cheese on top of the mushrooms. Place the mushrooms back under the grill, ensuring they are a few rungs down from the top. Grill until the cheese melts and starts to bubble. Your grill's efficiency will dictate how long this will take. While the final cooking stage is underway, place the watercress leaves in a bowl together with the shallot. Season with salt, pepper, and add the vinaigrette. Toss well. To serve, place the mushrooms on 4 plates and put a small handful of the salad on top of each. Serve immediately, as the heat of the mushroom wilts the watercress.

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