Mushrooms and garlic butter. A dash of cream. Sea salt. What was once a bland chunk of fungi now becomes a morsel to savour, delicious juices and lip smacking ensue.

I’m really enjoying my copy of Ottolenghi’s Plenty, a parting gift from my friend Linda in London in May this year. Ottolenghi inspired this recipe, he used a bundle of wild mushrooms tied up in parchment paper with seasonings not too dissimilar.

I find myself not always up to grilling the gigantic mushrooms we get here, the ones begging to be placed on a bun and addressed as “Mr Burger”. Crafty imposters.

But, given a slick of salty butter, garlic, herbs and lemon zest and wrapped up, they make a fun starter. Perhaps not entirely elegant, but it’s always a good day when the food gets tied up, right? Well, something like that.

Use a combination of exotic or wild mushrooms instead of the big ‘uns, vary the seasoning but do season well with salt. A poorly seasoned mushroom is underwhelming. A pity. So season well or provide salt at the table.

A tip: if using waxed paper, it will start to colour and possibly burn – keep well away from top element.





6 servings

6 large brown mushrooms

6 T butter

2-3 medium cloves garlic

zest 1 lemon

1 T thyme or parsely, finey chopped (optional)

3 T fresh cream

sea salt and pepper, to taste


Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Grease a baking tray lightly. Wash and dry the mushrooms. Cut off the stems.

In a mortar, pound the garlic with a little salt until it forms a paste. Add butter, cream, zest, herbs, salt and pepper and mix till smooth.

Spoon a tablespoon of the mixture over the top of each mushroom.

Cut wax paper, folded double into rectangles large enough to be tied up over each mushroom.

Place mushroom in centre of wax paper and gather sides together tightly. Fasten with butcher’s string or twine.

Bake for 15-20 minutes depending on size of mushrooms, until they are cooked through.

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