Serves: 4

Looking for a delicious and meat-free meal? Look no further as chef Laura Pope introduces her tasty and filling gratin of portobello mushroom recipe with our favourite Comté cheese.


  • 4 large, ripe tomatoes
  • 30g butter
  • 6 large Portobello mushrooms, or 400g chestnut mushrooms, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, crushed with a garlic crusher or finely grated / chopped
  • Leaves from a few sprigs of thyme
  • 60ml dark ale, e.g. Chimay
  • 10g flat leaf parsley, leaves picked and roughly chopped
  • 200g Comté (12-18 month), shaved


1Preheat oven to 190℃ normal / 170℃ fan.

2Score a cross on the base of each tomato with a sharp knife, just piercing the skin, and cover them in boiling water. Leave for 20 to 30 seconds until the skin starts peeling away from the flesh, remove from the water, then run under cold water. Peel and deseed the tomatoes, then roughly chop them.

3Heat a frying pan over a high heat until smoking hot, then add 15g of the butter. Add the mushrooms, season well with salt and pepper, and cook for 12 minutes, adjusting the heat if necessary so that the mushrooms don’t burn – you want them cooked through and to have released their liquid, which will have reduced in the pan.

4Remove the mushrooms from the pan to a plate, then add the remaining 15g of butter with the onion, garlic and thyme leaves. Cook over a low-to-medium heat until the onion is soft and golden – this should take about 10 minutes.

5Return the mushrooms to the pan with the tomatoes and ale, turn the heat up to medium-high and simmer for about 3 to 5 minutes until most of the moisture has evaporated.

6Finally, add the parsley, then add salt and pepper as necessary.

7Spread the mushroom mixture over the bottom of an oven-proof dish, then scatter over the Comté. Put the dish in the oven and cook for about 10 minutes, until the cheese has melted, then turn on the grill and continue to cook for about 4 minutes until the Comté is brown and bubbling, but keep a close eye on it so that it does not burn.

8Serve straight away with hunks of baguette or sourdough loaf.



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