Mushrooms tend to be a bit of a Marmite food – you either love them or hate them. I used to truly fall in to the latter crowd. I think it’s the texture – squidgy and almost meaty – that never really appealed, and which confused me as to why they are often the main ingredient in vegetarian dishes. I get that in the ’70s the imagination for veggie food couldn’t stretch further that mushrooms or uninspiring lentils, but a Portabello mushroom burger? A mushroom in a roll is not a burger, it’s a sandwich. And don’t get me started
on mushroom risotto…
But, all that aside, in the past year or so, I’ve been going through a bit of a mushroom revolution. Whilst I used to actively avoid mushroom dishes or request them to be left out of a veggie breakfast, I have experienced several creative and appetising mushroom dishes recently and have started to understand why so many people are pro-mushroom. The dishes that turned me include the tamari mushrooms in the vegan breakfast at InSpiral in Camden, the mushroom bun by… and the devilled mushrooms on toast at the Catford Constitutional Club.
So last Friday when I decided to cook an impromptu French meal (to accompany watching French film Eden and enjoying a bottle of Côtes du Rhoné) I knew that I could not experience Gallic cuisine, especially vegetarian, without les champignons! Feeling somewhat inspired by the vegetarian roast option I’d eyed up at our local, the Sylvan Post in Forest Hill, I decided to have a go at stuffed mushrooms. Recalling what we had in stock whilst on my commute home led to this rather delightful recipe which even mushroom-suspicious Tristan wolfed down.
I used closed cup mushrooms but you could easily upscale to full on Portabellos if you wished. If you decide to mix up the ingredients just remember to finely chop everything so that the filling can easily be stuffed inside the limited space on the mushroom.
Are you a mushroom friend or mushroom foe? What other mushroom dishes can you recommend now that I’m a convert?
- 8 closed cup mushrooms
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 3 shallots, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 cup spinach, chopped
- 8-10 hazelnuts, chopped
- 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 tsp wholegrain mustard
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- Handful fresh parsley (keep some aside to garnish)
Preheat the oven to 180c.
Carefully cut the stalks out of the mushrooms. I softly circle the nice around the edge of the stalk then gently pop it out. I also chose the slightly larger ones from the packet to give more filling potential.
Brush the outside of the mushrooms with olive oil and place on a baking tray. For extra indulgence you could use garlic oil here!
Heat the vegetable oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the shallots and fry until soft. Add the garlic and fry until slightly browned. Then add the rest of the ingredients and cook until the spinach is wilted.
Remove from the heat. Carefully stuff the mushrooms with the filling. I like to pile them high!
Cook in the oven for 8-10 minutes or until the mushrooms are soft and the nuts are roasted. Garnish with a little more parsley. Et voila! Serve two as a small starter or side. Bon appetit. 😀