Chestnut Mushrooms

February 6, 2009


We have lovely Brown/Chestnut Mushrooms in all our selections this week. Like all Mushrooms they are packed with all kinds of good stuff like B vitamins which are great for counteracting stress and fatigue, Vitamin D which helps keep your hair, skin and nails healthy and strong, vegetable Proteins and minerals like Potassium, Copper, Selenium and Phosphorus. Recent studies also show that Mushrooms have Probiotic properties i.e they help the body strengthen itself and fight off illness. Chestnut Mushrooms are tastier than the white button variety but can be prepared in the same ways. Perhaps the best (and certainly the simplest) way to prepare them is to wipe (never immerse them in water as they suck it up and make everything soggy so use a damp cloth to clean them) slice and pan-fry them for a couple of minutes and eat them straightup with plenty of fresh bread to mop up the juices. Or alternatively, these pan-fried Mushrooms can be added to a folded Omelette with your favourite Cheese for a quick supper. They are also great in all kinds of stews and casseroles where their meatiness adds a lovely depth of flavour. They can be eaten raw and like most things conserve more goodness this way. Try them sliced in salads with a Balsamic dressing and if you really want to show them off, try slicing and marinating them in Olive Oil and Balsamic overnight before adding them to a salad of green leaves and Goat’s Cheese. While Mushrooms are fantastic with little more than some Garlic and Olive Oil, their flavour is set off perfectly by lots of things like Cream, Crème Fraiche, Cheeses like Parmesan and Gruyere, Herbs like Chives, Oregano, Tarragon and Parsley, Onions, Eggs, Butternut Squash (also in this week’s bag), Tomatoes, Nuts and Wine (both red and white). Basically, there are tons of options and here are 2 of my

Chestnut mushrooms

Chestnut mushrooms

Spanish style Mushrooms with Garlic and Parsley

You’ll need:

180gr Chestnut Mushrooms (about what you have in your bag this week)

Olive Oil

2 Cloves Garlic

2 Tablespoons Parsley

Salt and Pepper

Clean and slice your mushrooms. Sauté in olive oil for a few minutes until most of the liquid given off by the mushroom has evaporated. Add a mixture of 2 garlic cloves and 2 Tablespoons Parsley finely chopped (or, better still, pounded together in a mortar with a pestle). Add this mixture along with some Salt and freshly ground Pepper to the Mushrooms. Turn up the heat for a moment then add a dash of white wine or sherry. Let the alcohol evaporate, mix everything together and remove from heat. Serve hot or cold with some fresh crusty bread or some toasted yesterday’s bread.

Mushroom and Porcini Risotto (for 2)

Porcini are dried Ceps, an extremely flavoursome mushroom used a lot on the continent. You can buy them in little packets from Italian Delis and other good Delis but I’ve yet to see them in supermarkets. For this recipe you will need half a packet (about 12gr./ 1/2 ounce) and they will need to be soaked in 2 cups luke warm water for at least 30 minutes before you start. Then, drain and finely chop the Porcini setting aside the soaking liquid.

You’ll need:

1/2 packet/12gr Porcini

1 Medium Onion Butter

180gr Chestnut Mushrooms (about what you have in your bag this week)

1 cup Arborio Rice (available in good Delis and Italian shops)

1-2 cups Vegetable Stock (as usual I use Marigold)

Salt and Pepper

100gr grated Parmesan

Begin by sautéing the chopped Onion in a generous knob of Butter. While the Onion is cooking wipe and slice your Mushrooms and when the Onion is translucent and starting to turn golden add the Mushrooms and continue cooking until they turn golden brown. Add 1 cup of Arborio Rice and sauté for a minute or two to coat each grain with Butter. Then, start adding your liquid (Have about 1 1/2 cups of Vegetable stock mixed with the 2 cups of Porcini liquid simmering ready for this stage) a ladle at a time allowing the rice to absorb the cooking liquid each time before you add more. After 10 minutes add the Porcini then continue adding the stock as before. When cooked (the rice should be cooked but al dente) turn off the heat, add some Pepper, half the Parmesan and knob of Butter. Stir well then taste and correct seasoning. Allow to sit covered (a teatowel will do if your pan doesn’t have a lid) then serve with the rest of the Parmesan on the table.

Market Watch

Lots of you seem to be making Marmalade this year so we’ll be getting more Seville Oranges next week. We also have grapefruit if you want to try adding them in too. I know I promised to post recipes for marmalade on the blog (I have 2 from the best preservers I know) but baba is teething and I just haven’t had a moment. I’ll do it this weekend – I promise!!!!

Hope you enjoy these recipes,

Have a great weekend,



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