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Mushroom Medley

Posted by Nigella on the 10th March 2012

You know already about the photoshoot here last Monday, but what I didn't quite mention was my exuberant food propping, which meant that my kitchen has been looking like a greengrocer's all week. This is how it went: if I had an idea that some basil might look pretty in shot, I bought several plants of it. Tomatoes? Why then, I must get 2 kilos. And so on — you get the picture.

This is by way of explaining that several days after the shoot, I am still trying to use up everything I bought. Finally, I accomplished my target, and no evidence remains of my greed and extravagance. I can't remember now exactly why I bought mushrooms (especially as some of them are Japanese varieties rather than Italian) but I did. Not that I'm complaining, as they furnished my lunch fabulously — and here's how I cooked them.

Assorted raw mushrooms
Assorted mushrooms

I had 750g of assorted mushrooms and I sliced the larger of them and left the rest whole. In one of my shallow cast iron casseroles, I warmed 60ml (quarter cup) of olive oil, along with a quarter cup of freshly chopped parsley, the finely grated zest of a lemon and half a teaspoon of crushed dried chilli.

Base for mushrooms
Olive oil, chopped parsley, zest of a lemon and crushed dried chilli.

I added the mushrooms along with a teaspoon of sea salt flakes, gave a gentle stir (trying not to scatter my stovetop with mushrooms) then clamped on the lid, turned the heat down to low and left everything to simmer for 10 minutes.

Mushroom Medley
Mushroom Medley

Although the mushrooms look dangerously dry when you put the lid on, when you remove the lid after these 10 minutes you will see that they have given off quite a bit of liquid. To that liquid, I added the juice of the lemon I'd already zested, gave the pan a vigorous stir, then put the lid back on for another 10 minutes' simmering. It's wise to check once or twice during that time — just lift the lid and give a bit of a stir. And that's it really. All I did further to that was scatter the beautiful cooked mushrooms with a little more parsley — and eat them, of course. As I recommend you do, too!

Mushroom manifesto
Mushroom manifesto
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