VegBox Recipes

Mushrooms

Mushrooms So much more than "just a fungus". Between us and the Mushroom Bureau for Britain, we've included some of that 'more' here in this article for you.

They're an ancient food, surrounded by myth and folklore. As well as a delicious ingredient in many savoury recipes.

They're nutritious and easy to grow yourself, if you want to.

Buy?
Use mushrooms as soon as possible after picking.

They quickly lose their texture and become slightly slimy. If they've reached the stage where they smell of rotten fish (only a few days!), then they're beyond their best.

It doesn't matter if your mushrooms are muddy - just wipe it off with a piece of kitchen roll. No need to wash.
Store?
Keep mushrooms in the salad drawer in your fridge. They're best stored in paper bags, rather than plastic bags. If you've got a punnet that's covered in clingfilm, remove the film and cover with a piece of kitchen paper, to absorb any moisture.

If the mushrooms sweat in the damp atmosphere, they will go off more quickly.

In a paper bag in the fridge, white cap and chestnut mushrooms usually keep for about 5 days.
Cook?
Don't peel mushrooms. Much of the flavour and the nutrients are stored just under the skin.

If your mushrooms are dirty, it's probably just peat. Gently remove it with your fingers or a piece of kitchen roll.

If you want to wash your mushrooms, run them under water in a colander or sieve, rather than washing in a bowl, otherwise too much water gets into the gills.

Raw mushrooms are delicious in salads or with a dip.

Or you can fry them in garlic butter...

Or you can add them to stews and casseroles...

Or cut into quarters and fry with cherry tomatoes (cut in half) and some basil, for a delicious sauce - or an alternative to beans on toast...

There are probably thousands of ways of cooking mushrooms. If you have a favourite one, please send it to us to share with others.

More Mushrooms Information

Mushrooms have grown wild in spring and autumn for as long as records go back - since pre-historic times.

But the use of cultivated mushrooms in the UK is as recent as the 1880s.

The vast majority of mushrooms sold in the UK are the white mushroom variety agaricus bisporus. These are either seen as button mushrooms, close cup mushrooms, open cup mushrooms and large open cup mushrooms.

Only a tiny minority are the more specialist varieties, which include chestnut, shitake, porcini and oyster.

Did you know...?

Research carried out at Tufts University in Massachusetts found that a diet of mushrooms may promote immunity against viruses. Good to know in the Winter months!

Mushrooms are one of the highest antioxidant vegetables in the world, in the same league as the red pepper and spinach.

Healthwise, mushrooms are low in calories, but provide more bulk (i.e. fill you up) than many other low carbohydrate vegetables. They are also a good source of protein, in an easily-digested form.

Mushrooms are an excellent source of B vitamins and contain useful amounts of folic acid and vitamin C. They're also good for minerals including iron, potassium, zinc and phosphorous.

An 80g serving, around 14 baby button mushrooms, four large closed cup mushrooms or one large flat mushroom counts towards the 5-A-DAY target.

White and brown button mushrooms, if left to grow, become closed cup mushrooms, which if left to grown become open cup mushrooms which if left to grow become large flat mushrooms.

A button mushroom, if not picked, will double in size every 24 hours! Cool!

Garlic Mushrooms
This garlic mushroom recipe is a quick and easy starter, which is delicious served with fresh, home-made bread or bread buns - or even a side salad. The mushrooms are full of vitamins and minerals and the garlic is bursting with detoxifying and immune system boosting properties, so it's pretty good for you, too.
Ingredients

Serves 4

  • 500g fresh mushrooms, wiped and sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 30ml olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons creme fraiche / natural yoghurt / cream
  • handful fresh parsley, chopped

Method
  1. Gently heat the oil in a large pan.

  2. Gently cook the garlic for 3 minutes, until starting to brown.

  3. Turn up the heat and add the mushrooms. Do this in batches, if you need to. The idea is to cook them quickly, to get them to release their juices.

  4. Cook for up to 5 minutes, until the mushrooms are browned and softened.

  5. Remove from the heat. Add the parsley and the cream / creme fraiche / yoghurt. Stir well. Taste and season with salt, if you wish.

Cupboard-To-Table

15 minutes

Suggested Mushrooms Recipes

Andrew Williamís Spicy Vegetable Lasagna with Peppers

Here is fellow food blogger Andrew Williams' recipe for Spicy Vegetable Lasagna with Peppers.

Andrew says:

"I think itís safe to say that thereís more of an emphasis on Mexican that there is on Italian in this dish.

Ideally you should use habanero chilies to make this dish. The fruitiness of habanero chilies works really well in this dish. If you canít get them then donít worry as any chilies will do."

Autumn Vegetable Soup

This is a great way of using up the end of your veg box. It works well with most vegetables. It's a tasty, but healthy recipe, because you don't even need to use any fat. Just prepare the veggies, chuck them in a pan with the stock and stir occasionally. My kind of after-work cooking!

Autumnal Fish Dish

This recipe was sent in by the lovely Maddy, a key member of the Ooffoo community.

Baked Autumn Omelette

This baked omelette can be customised using so many different veggies, herbs and spices, and makes a fab lunch on its own, and a hearty dinner served as a side.

Broccoli & Kale Stir Fry

This is a great recipe for a quick lunchtime stir fry. It uses broccoli and kale (or dark-leafed cabbage or spinach) because these are so rich in nutrients. It can easily be adapted to have a Japanese style, if you prefer.

Chard and Veggie Bake with a Mushroom, Quinoa and Goats Cheese Crumble Topping

We've been so blessed with recipe submissions from our readers, and from enthusiastic veg box providers around the country that it's been a while since we've invented a new one of our own.

Last week we received a box that contained carrots, chard, mushrooms, shallots and turnips. We already had a can of mixed beans in the cupboard, garlic cloves, some unfinished goats cheese in the fridge and a big box of quinoa.

This was the result!

Chard and Veggie Bake with a Mushroom, Quinoa and Goats Cheese Crumble Topping

We've been so blessed with recipe submissions from our readers, and from enthusiastic veg box providers around the country that it's been a while since we've invented a new one of our own.

Last week we received a box that contained carrots, chard, mushrooms, shallots and turnips. We already had a can of mixed beans in the cupboard, garlic cloves, some unfinished goats cheese in the fridge and a big box of quinoa.

This was the result!

Creamy Mushrooms

These creamy mushrooms have a hint of balsamic vinegar and tomato, to give them even more flavour. They're ideal with toast, for a light lunch, or maybe as a jacket potato topping.

Crispy Vegetable and Couscous Salad

This recipe has been provided by the British Leafy Salads Association.

Crunchy Mushroom Pilaff

With many thanks to the Mushroom Bureau for Britain for this recipe and the accompanying photograph.

Garlic Mushrooms

This garlic mushroom recipe is a quick and easy starter, which is delicious served with fresh, home-made bread or bread buns - or even a side salad. The mushrooms are full of vitamins and minerals and the garlic is bursting with detoxifying and immune system boosting properties, so it's pretty good for you, too.

Halloween Veggie Skeleton Platter

I think the picture says it all!

I came across this idea last year - thanks so much to Laura at Feeding Frenzy for the photo.

Home Made Gravy

Home made gravy is a real treat. It takes a little while to cook, but it's well worth the effort. And this vegetarian version is so delicious, it's worth making a double quantity and freezing any that's spare.

Jam-Packed Summer Vegetable Risotto

This ruby-red risotto not only looks stunning but tastes amazing AND it can be adapted to use whatever's in your box this week.

Left-overs Pot Pie

This recipe was inspired by my dear friend Caroline P, an ex professional chef, who was describing to me her favourite way of using up savoury left-overs.

Do let us know if you try it. And if you want to use the left-overs without having to eat them immediately, these pies freeze really well.

Lentil Bake (With Optional Apple)

Lentil bake doesn't have to be dull! In fact, if made well, it's absolutely delicious. And it's a great way of using up any spare veg box items - or even some from the fruit bag. See the Variations for using apples, mushrooms, and carrots.

Lentil Spag Bol

Spaghetti Bolognese doesn't have to be reserved for meat-eaters. If you fancy a change, this veggie option is delicious. And it's a good way of using up spare veg box tomatoes and onions. See the variations for ideas of how to use up spare carrots, mushrooms or even runner beans in this dish.

Marinated Mushrooms

This marinated mushroom recipe makes a delicious change and works well with fresh onions.

Mushroom And Butterbean Stir Fry

This is a lovely 5-minute lunchtime snack.

Mushroom And Lentil Bake

This variation on the traditional recipe is delicious and packed with extra nutrients.

Mushroom And Winter Veg Pie

This is a real winter warming treat. The flavour from the mushrooms makes the dish, so itís important to get a variety of them, with strong flavours Ė no button mushrooms here, thank youÖ

Mushroom Stroganoff

This mushroom stroganoff recipe is a great vegetarian alternative to the traditional meat dish. I have tried so many variations of mushroom stroganoff recipes over the years, but this one, with all its tweaks, is my favourite.

Pak Choi And Tofu Stir Fry

This delicious pak choi recipe takes just a few minutes and makes a warming evening meal. Combining the pak choi with tofu, mushrooms and beansprouts in a stir fry sauce gives a lovely mixture of soft and crunchy textures. And it's really good for you, too!

Porcini Mushroom And Spinach Quiche

This quiche is great with dried porcini mushrooms. nd itís a great way to use up spare spinach. Or, if you prefer, you can substitute Swiss Chard.

Potato Gratin

This recipe is really easy. Just a little pre-cooking of the potatoes, then bung it all in a dish and in the oven for an hour. You're rewarded with a delicious, bubbling mass of creamy potatoes, which are delicious with fresh vegetables or as an accompaniment to a main dish.

Seasonal Spinach Salad

This recipe was submitted by "Tablet", a member of the Ooffoo community, as an entry to the Recipe Prize Draw, with the comment:

"This recipe can of course be eaten totally cold, without heating the fish or the spinach but seeing as it's colder outside it's nice to eat it warm. It takes about five minutes to prepare and will happily feed two of you very well. You can share it with more people if you provide some scrummy bread to go with it. Enjoy!"

Thanks, Tablet!

Seasonal Veggie Casserole with Mushrooms, Nuts, Rice and Chickpeas

This recipe is SO delicious, AND itís vegan. Double bubble!

Simple Souffle

So what is it about the word "Souffle" that strikes fear into the heart? When did souffles acquire the status of "that which is served at dinner parties only by the most accomplished of cooks"?

Because the reality is, they're easy peasy!

The only "critical" factor is getting your oven to the right heat and not opening the door to check it until 5 minutes before it should be done.

Our favourite tip is the check for done-ness. Give the souffle dish a sharp shove. The souffle should "tremble gently" (poor thing!) rather than wobble. A wobble means more cooking time is needed.

Here is our recipe for the basic souffle. See the "Variations" section for ideas on sweet as well as savoury fillings.

Three Mushroom Tart

These mushroom tarts are packed with flavour. Ideal with a mixture of fresh and dried mushrooms, the key is to use whatever youíve got available and to serve with lightly steamed, fresh seasonal veggies.

Tomato And Rocket Risotto

This is a deliciously peppery risotto recipe, using in-season rocket and tomatoes. The Puy lentils give it a nutritious boost.

Vegetarian Burritos with Fresh Cucumber and Tomato Salsa

These are perfect for a more substantial lunch, sliced into bite sized pieces for party nibbles, served cold the next day in your lunch box, or at your next Mexican night with friends.

Got one? Send us your recipe!

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