stuffed mushrooms with lentils, bacon, parsley pesto and Stilton

stuffed mushrooms with lentils, bacon, parsley pesto and Stilton
I think I must have inherited my late Scottish mother's somewhat parsimonious approach to food waste - a little part of me dies every time I open the kitchen compost canister to throw away anything other than vegetable peelings, tea bags or burnt toast. But a frugal approach to food, waste and in particular, in leftovers, doesn't have to be austere, puritanical or even joyless. It can be fun. No, really. It really can.

This is not so much a recipe, but a suggestion of how to use up several spoonful’s of leftovers and a few forgotten inhabitants of the fridge.

I tentatively opened the fridge with a rather vague thought about how perhaps it might be in need of a bit of a clean. Or maybe just a wipe, and then I could go back to doing something more interesting.

The top shelf of the fridge is where I store jars of pickles, jams, sauces and relishes, stock, leftover gravy, and quite often, anything else that I haven't managed to squeeze onto one of the lower shelves. This isn't probably recommended by Food Hygienists. But so far I haven't killed anyone. (Well, not to my knowledge anyway.)

There were several jars right at the front of the shelf, rather shiftily jockeying for position, like football players waiting for a free kick. As I parted them, there was the shrivelled nub of a piece of long forgotten Christmas Stilton cheese. It was looking distinctly worse-for-wear, cowering behind a half-used jar of mincemeat and one of parsley pesto.

"Nooooooooo," the cheese silently wailed, as it shuffled backwards towards the cold plate. "Don't make me leave. I like it here. I've put down roots. What about my friends?"

I really hate it when old food plaintively begs; it is so spineless.

"Pull yourself together, man! Where's your dignity? “I addressed the cheese sternly. “Besides, I have some new friends for you."

"Stilton meet Lentil and Bacon mush. I know you lot will get on famously." A rummage around in the vegetable rack unearthed a brown paper bag of large field mushrooms. I shepherded them over to the Stilton and Lentil mush, like the good host at a party. "Guys, guys. Stilton, you've already met Lentil and Bacon mush. I'd love you to meet Field Mushrooms. Field Mushrooms, meet the guys. I think this is the start of a beautiful friendship." A light bulb moment of inspiration had me turning to the fridge again. "Mincemeat, don't think I've forgotten you. I have plans for you. But right now it is Pesto I need. Hey, Pesto . . . “ Well, you can guess the rest.

Like many friendships in the kitchen, this one which while of cherished memory, was a little short-lived. Just long enough for me to stuff the mushrooms with a little of the leftover lentil and bacon mush, a dab of pesto, topped off with crumbled Stilton and shoved in the oven, long enough for the whole thing to come together.

Perfect. It is definitely the way to go out!

Since this is such a thrifty dish and a delicious way of using up leftovers, I am entering this into the Credit Crunch Munch challenge hosted by Helen at Fuss Free Flavours, and Camilla at Fab Food 4 All. They are sharing how we can enjoy great food, but still spend less or save some money. I think my entry ticks some of those boxe


stuffed mushrooms with bacon, lentils and blue cheese
Serves 1
Skill level: Easy

vegetable oil
3 x large field mushrooms (or Portobello's)
leftover lentil and bacon stew (drain off any excess liquid)
blue cheese, crumbled (I used Stilton)
fresh parsley, finely chopped (to serve)
freshly ground black pepper


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C / Gas Mark 4.
  2. Lightly oil a baking tray.
  3. Dust off any dirt from the field mushrooms and remove the stalks.
  4. Finely chop the stalks and combine with about 3 to 4 tablespoons of the lentil stew.
  5. Stuff the mushroom cavities with the lentil mixture and top with a small dollop of pesto.
  6. Crumble over a little blue cheese.
  7. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes. Check and add a little more blue cheese if necessary. Cook for a further 5 to 10 minutes, until the mushrooms have softened and are beginning to sag a little.
  8. Serve sprinkled with a little chopped parsley and black pepper.


o cozinheiro este algarve said...

Nice one.I´m sure our mothers are having a good old banter up there!!!

Marmaduke Scarlet said...

That's if your mother can get a word in edgeways! Mine will also be shaking her head and tutting (what is it about a Scottish mother's tut?) and saying "are you sure you want to go out in that?" - a much more successful way of getting me to change my appearance than the proscriptive "you are not going out in that" - it sneakily introduces the element of doubt!

Camilla @FabFood4All said...

These sound delicious but I'd have to stick an alternative cheese in as I am blue cheese averse! Thank you for entering Credit Crunch Munch:-)

Marmaduke Scarlet said...

Hi Camilla - happy to enter, it is such a good idea for a challenge! BTW, today had some stuffed mushrooms with leftover spag bol sauce and a little cheddar - very flexible!

Karen S Booth said...

Bacon, blue cheese and mushrooms?Sounds like a marriage made in heaven! Karen