I introduced our famed cheese in the post on Bryndza Cheese Sticks last year. With this year’s sheep farming season in full spate and some fine weather over the last month, our mountain meadows have turned into luscious pastures, so we are getting fresh supplies of bryndza cheese again.
The May bryndza, as we in Slovakia call it, is creamier and more flavourful than that made of sheep’s milk cheese stored in wooden barrels over the winter.The recipe below also uses bear garlic, a herb that’s becoming very popular in Slovak cuisine.
Bear garlic, also known under the names of ramsons, buckrams, wild garlic or wood garlic, is a wild plant that grows not only in forested areas of continental Europe and northern Asia, but also in British woodlands and eastern regions of Canada and the USA.
If you want to have a go at Bryndza Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms outside of the bear garlic season, feel free to replace the bear garlic with other fresh herbs like chives, spinach or parsley greens.
To substitute bryndza cheese in the recipe below, you can use any soft sheep’s milk cheese you can get locally, although it won’t taste the same as Slovak bryndza.
Bryndza Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms
- 12 mushrooms
- 150 g bryndza cheese (or similar soft cheese)
- 2 handfuls bear garlic
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
- a little oil for frying
- radishes or other seasonal vegetables to garnish
- Take the cheese out of the fridge 30 minutes before cooking to let it soften. Rinse the bear garlic leaves and let them dry off on a chopping board. Rinse the mushrooms, remove the stems and make a little hole in each cap by scooping out some of the insides. Don’t discard either the stems or the insides, as they both add flavour to sauces or make a wonderful soup (they can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to two days).
- Put the cheese in a bowl and mash it with a fork. Chop the bear garlic leaves and add to the cheese. Add the paprika and mix well to make a smooth cheese paste.
- Heat a little oil in a pan and fry the mushroom caps over a medium heat until slightly charred. Add a little water and let the caps sweat in a pan for 10 minutes. Put aside and cover to keep warm.
- Meanwhile, toast the sesame seeds in a small pan over a medium heat. Divide the cooked mushrooms on plates and fill them with the cheese paste. Sprinkle with the toasted sesame seeds and garnish with the radishes or other seasonal vegetables. Serve warm on its own or with fresh bread on the side.