Thursday, March 19, 2020

Portabello Mushroom Toast with Goat's Cheese, Pine Nuts and Chives, a perfect breakfast treat

Let's start our day with a delicious and healthy breakfast.  I now think of Breakfast, as an easy way to treat ourselves to something special, tasty and not necessarily expensive or time consuming, and to give us an important psychological and healthy boost to the day. This dish is also a perfect meal  for a Meat Free Monday dinner served with a delicious salad. Choosing Meat Free Mondays in our eating habits and reducing our met intake,  are simple ways to show respect for the mission by many to improve our own health and the health of the planet. 

I'm a cook and food writer, not a scientist, but I was interested to read that the BBC was quoting scientists when it said  that whilst there is no silver bullet to climate change, the humble mushroom has a role to play. The Mycelium, or the vast root systems of mushrooms, play an important role throughout various processes by improving the nutrient content of the soils. Those richer soils then encourage biodiversity by supporting diverse plant life..

Mushrooms make a surprisingly "meaty" accompaniment to anything from a baked potato gratin to a grain salad. Large Portobello mushrooms can be prepared like toast, and that is just what I did with these. Only not toasted, but grilled. This is such an easy way to cook big, flat, fresh mushrooms. Mushrooms, goat's cheese, pine nuts, and freshly snipped chives from the garden, what's not to love about this vegetarian dish for a weekend brekkie? Add a little finely chopped garlic straight onto the mushrooms if you wish. 

Portobello Mushroom Toast with Goat's Cheese, Pine Nuts and Chives, perfect for meat free Mondays

 I'll only buy mushrooms if they are available to buy loose and not packaged in plastic.  At least 14 million tons of plastic end up in the oceans every year, with plastic making up 80% of all marine debris found from surface waters to deep-sea sediments (IUCN). Marine species are suffering severely from ingesting or becoming entangled by plastic debris. We all know this, and yet supermarkets continue to use so much plastic wrapping on their produce. Storing mushrooms them in the refrigerator crisper in a brown paper bag is the most sensible storage option.

I try to cook mainly with vegetables that are in season, and cooking with mushrooms is an easy decision as they are available all year round now in our shops in the Southern Hemisphere. I hope it's the same for those of you in the Northern Hemisphere. Mushrooms must be very fresh or they are not worth cooking,Wash them well, and most importantly, dry them well.  

Portobello Mushroom Toast with Goat's Cheese, Pine Nuts and Chives


Serves 2

4 Portobello mushrooms 
Slurp of olive oil on each one
60 g soft goats cheese (Meredith Dairy soft goats cheese works well), or choose hard cheese
2 tablespoons pine nuts
2 handfuls of fresh chives, snipped


Turn the oven grill to high.

Place the mushrooms open side up on the baking tray, drizzle with the oil and season with a pinch of salt and plenty of black pepper. 

Place under the grill for 3 minutes.

Remove the mushrooms from the grill, dot on the Goat's cheese and sprinkle with the pine nuts.

Place the mushrooms back under the grill for a further 2 minutes until Goats cheese is further softened and pine nuts are toasted. The pine nuts need to be watched as they will burn if left under the grill for too long.

Sprinkle on the snipped chives to serve. 

Served with homemade spicy tomato relish, or any savoury relish, in my opinion these rival any meal served in a cafe for brekkie. Add delicious bread on the side if you wish.

Say healthy,


  1. This is fantastic for any meal! The combo of goat cheese and pine nuts is just amazing.

  2. Yum. So simple but it will be a real hit of flavours. I just need to add mushrooms to the list so Sunday brunch sorted. Thanks for a little treat in current times.

    1. Thanks Bernie, we had these for brekkie this morning, using goat's cheese and they are always so delicious. Hope you have managed to try them. Stay well, Pauline

  3. Grilled mushrooms for breakfast, brilliant! We love grilled Portobello mushrooms and should be able (I think) to source them. Who says you have to eat porridge every morning.

    1. Porridge is great but nice to have a change sometimes. Thanks Ron

  4. That looks great, Pauline. I must go and check my pot of chives as I think the weeds have grown over it. Thanks for reminding me. Everything went crazy after the rain,

  5. Love portabello mushrooms. SO much flavor, and this is a great looking dish. Weird times at the moment, huh? All restaurants here are closed except for takeout. We're not big on takeout, but we've been doing that just to help our favorite restaurants, survive.

    1. Thanks KR. Yes it's nice to support the local businesses if you can. Thankfully perishables like mushrooms still seem to be available in the supermarkets.

  6. hi pauline
    isn't it crazy that you pay heaps more for mushies wrapped up in a tray, which you then chuck straight into the bin anyway? they must think we are crazy! i dream of going out for a cafe breakfast:) ...

    1. I let Woolies know in a survey that I thought it was ridiculous that they were selling mushrooms packaged in plastic beside loose mushrooms. They told me that a lot of people prefer them packaged and will pay more. Hard to fathom. Just going out for a meal that someone else cooks will be nice. Take care, Pauline.

  7. ... something even me could make! (in other words: simpler than boiling eggs!! 😂) 🍄 Are the best, especially the humble ones 🙂

    1. Thanks so much for your comment dear Myrtille. I hope you give this a try and enjoy it. Best wishes, Pauline


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