This is the brunch that converted our son to liking mushrooms, so it has a treasured place in our family history. Perhaps his new appreciation was helped by his role in collecting them on our mushrooming adventure?
Prepared this way, these mushrooms also happen to be a thoroughly delicious and filling brunch, but the dish would also do well as part of an antipasto platter. We’ve been known to nibble away at the cold leftovers, if there are any.
Brunchtime wild mushrooms
- ½ cup of olive oil
- ½ cup of water
- 2 or 3 tomatoes (or half a 400-gram tin of crushed tomatoes)
- ½ teaspoon of coriander seeds
- a pinch of salt
- 1 bay leaf
- 250 grams of saffron milkcap mushrooms
- 1 lemon (to serve)
- Grind the coriander seeds and salt in a mortar and pestle.
- Set the mushrooms and lemon aside. Simmer all the other ingredients for about 5 minutes.
- Add the mushrooms (chopped if necessary), and simmer for another 5 or 10 minutes until the mushrooms are nicely softened and the flavours developed.
- Remove the mushrooms from the saucepan and arrange them on a flat serving dish.
- The sauce should be well thickened. If it is still a bit runny, simmer it for a couple of minutes until it is reduced to a good thick consistency that glugs rather than pours like water. Pour (or glug) the sauce over the mushrooms and serve with slices of lemon.
Stephanie Alexander’s original recipe used button mushrooms and mixed some lemon juice in with the sauce. Saffron milkcaps have their own flavour, and lemon juice in the sauce just doesn’t work quite as well. On the other hand, a squeeze of lemon over the finished product is delicious.
Source: Adapted from The Cook’s Companion. The Complete Book of Ingredients and Recipes for the Australian Kitchen. 1996. By Stephanie Alexander. Penguin Books Ltd: London.