Stuffed mushrooms with soft nut cheese and mustard sauce
I don’t know if it’s the lack of complete darkness in Sweden at this time of year, or the festivities of the long weekend we just had, but I haven’t been sleeping much lately – so forgive me in advance if this post isn’t what you thought it would be!
Normally I tell you about what I made and how healthy it is, or about all the ingredients, but this time I think I’ll write about something else. This past Monday was Sweden’s National Day. Since Sweden has always been the big brother of Scandinavia, they don’t really have a proper Independence Day like many other countries. The 6th of June was the date that Gustav Vasa became the first king of Sweden, but it’s not like anyone really celebrated that before. In the 80’s, the day became known as Swedish Flag Day, but flag waving isn’t a big hit here either.
It wasn’t until 2005 that the day actually became a proper holiday. However, since we already have lots of vacation and “red days”, as holidays are refereed to here, the government decided that in order to get a day we had to give up a day, and so we “lost” Whit Monday – an obscure religious holiday that no one has missed. The only problem is that some years June 6th falls on a Saturday and Sunday, and then we actually miss out on a day off. This year, however, it fell on a Monday, and everyone was out celebrating in full force!
So what do Swedes do on their National Day? Well, since it’s only been official for 10 years, there aren’t a lot of steadfast traditions yet, although it’s becoming more common to have picnics and barbeques, and maybe even eat some strawberry pie. Swedes in general, are more of an inclusive people than an exclusive. (This is a country where they didn’t use to play the national anthem at sports events because it was seen as too nationalistic.) So rather than, “Yay hey, Sweden is best!”, there seems to be lots of festivals and events which celebrate cultural diversity – so it feels more like “We’re proud to be Swedish , but you should be proud of who you are, too! And we’re happy to have you here!” At least that’s the way it felt this year in Stockholm.
First I went to the “Hey! Festival”, which was described as “a meeting place between the newly arrived and those already established in Swedish society”. The festival was organized by volunteer groups, such as Refugees Welcome – Stockholm, along with support from the city of Stockholm. After that I went to one of the largest parks in the city, where I have honestly never seen so many people in my entire life! As my friend and I walked through the park searching for other members of his band, I kept thinking, “OK, this endless sea of people has to end sometime soon!” It never did. I thought it was fitting that after passing sea after sea of people, we finally found them at the Mosquito Beach Party: “Tropical rhythms with a swing you’ll not soon forget!” So very Swedish on Sweden’s National Day.
Oh, the recipe?!?!? Well, this is a truly fantastic combination of tastes and textures! Stuffed mushrooms with soft nut cheese and spinach, served on a bed of wheat berries and topped with a tangy mustard sauce!
Soft nut cheese
- ¼ cup (.6 dl) – cashews + ¼ cup (.6 dl) – macadamia nuts, soaked for 3+ hours
- ¼ cup (.6 dl) – water
- juice from 1 lemon
- 1 Tbsp (15 ml) – coconut oil
- 1 Tbsp (15 ml) – apple cider vinegar
- salt/pepper to taste Mustard sauce
- 2 Tbsps (30 ml) – yellow mustard
- 2½ tsps (12.5) – Dijon mustard
- juice from 1 lime
- 2 Tbsps (30 ml) – nutritional yeast
- ¼-⅓ cup (.6 - .8 dl) – vegetable oil
- salt/pepper to taste Stuffed mushrooms
- olive oil
- 4 cloves – garlic, minced
- ½ lb (225 g) – fresh baby spinach
- 2-4 large spring onions, chopped
- 2 Tbsps (30 ml) – pine nuts, dry roasted
- ½ cup (1.2 dl) – soft nut cheese (recipe above)
- 4-6 large mushrooms, stems removed
- a handful of fresh thyme, finely chopped/cut Wheat berries
- 1¾ cups (4 dl) – wheat berries
- 3¼ cups – water
- ¼ cup (.6 dl) – white cooking wine
- a splash or two – agave syrup
- 1½ tsps (7.5 ml) – vegetable stock powder
Soft nut cheese
- Drain and rinse the nuts.
- Put all the ingredients into a blender or food processor and mix until smooth.
- Pour into a small container/jar and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight.
- Add all the ingredients apart from the oil to a small bowl and mix well.
- Gradually add the oil, stirring the sauce, until you reach the desire consistency.
- Heat some olive oil in a large frying pan, add the garlic and sauté for a few minutes. Add the spinach and spring onions and cook until the spinach wilts and both the spinach and onions are soft. Dry roast the pine nuts in another small pan at the same time.
- Stir the soft nut cheese and the pine nuts into the spinach mixture until everything is well mixed, and remove from heat.
- Pour a little olive oil onto the bottom of an ovenproof form. Place the large mushroom caps face down and drizzle some olive oil over the top. Flip the mushrooms upside down and spoon the spinach mixture into the caps.
- Heat at 400 F (200 C) for approx 25 minutes. The filling and mushrooms should get some color but not burn.
- Once the mushrooms are in the oven, heat the water, cooking wine, powder and agave in a medium-sized pot.
- Add the wheat berries and boil for 15 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed and the wheat berries are tender, but still slightly chewy.
- Spoon some cooked wheat berries onto the bottom of a plate, place a stuffed mushroom on top, drizzle with mustard sauce and serve!