Soft Cheeze Topped with Pea Puree, Crispy Mushooms and Garlic Basil Olive Oil

Recently some friends and I dined at the very delish Bottega in Napa.  Chef Michael Chiarello is amazing! Obviously, there was a great deal that I couldn’t eat, but I definitely walked away feeling very inspired. I especially was blown away by his Mozzarella Burrata with English Pea Puree dish. I immediately began thinking of ways I could veganize this dish and enjoy it with the hubby. Below is what I came up with. I hope you all give it a try with the vegan cheeze version or with real creamy mozzarella. If you end up going with real mozzarella and can’t get your hands on burrata, I think you can get away with making this with super fresh mozzarella or real cream cheese.

Servings: 6-8  (this recipe comes out with 3 stacks, each of which provide portions for up to 3 people)

Time from start to plate: 1 and 15 minutes

1 8-0z tub of Toffuti Cream Cheese

2 cups of frozen peas (I usually soak these in warm water and keep doing so to defrost them to keep them from being overly cooked or soggy)

1 tbsp of white vinegar

2 tbsp of minced garlic

1/2 tsp of truffle oil (optional)

olive oil


lemon pepper

1 bunch of fresh basil, thinly chopped

Micro greens

2 small Portobello mushrooms

This is how we do:
Begin by preheating your oven to 250 degrees F as you will need about a full hour to make your crispy Portobello mushrooms. Slice your Portobello mushrooms very thin and coat with olive oil & sprinkle with salt. Lay the mushrooms flat on a baking sheet and place in the oven. Let these bake in their while you prepare the rest of the dish. About halfway through though (after about half an hour), take the dish out and flip each mushroom slice to make sure that both sides get crispy. Check on these guys from time to time while you work on the rest to make sure you don’t burn them.

Now onto the soft cheeze. Empty the Tofutti cream cheese into a bowl. Drizzle about 2 tbsp of olive oil & 1 tbsp of white vinegar. Sprinkle with salt and mix. You don’t have to mix it well just make sure that all of the cheeze is well coated in the mixture. Place and refrigerator until you are ready to plate.

For the pea puree, once you have thawed them, place them in a food processor with 1 tbsp of minced garlic. Add some salt & lemon pepper to taste as well as the 1/2 tsp of truffle oil. Puree until it turns into a nice, thick mush. Refrigerate this until you are ready to plate as well.

In a smaller bowl, place 3-4 tbsp of olive oil (you can replace 1 to 2 of the tbsp of olive oil with DHA/flaxseed oil – this is my way of always trying to sneak this stuff into our diet as vegans need to supplement as much DHA and omega fatty acids as possible). Add salt & pepper to taste, along with 1 tbsp of minced garlic & 1 bunch of chopped basil. Let this sit out (don’t put it in the fridge) until you’re ready to drizzle onto your plate.

When the mushroom has been sitting in the oven for about an hour and is done crisping, you can plate your dish. Take the mushrooms out of the oven and let them cool off.

Now take out the pea puree & softened cream cheese out of the refrigerator. Place a steel round form (or a round cookie cutter if you don’t have a form) on the center of your plate. First pat down a layer of the cheeze (about 1/2 inch thick). Then add the pea puree on top (about 1 inch thick). Top with micro greens and garnish sides with the crispy mushrooms. Drizzle the garlic basil oil on top and serve!


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