Coq au vin: chicken thighs slow-cooked in a red wine and bacon sauce, thickened with mushrooms, more red wine and some ground tomato if needed

Coq au vin (sort of)

Coq au vin is one of those dishes that is designed for a long, slow cook. And even if you don’t have a rooster (the cockerel part of coq au vin), chicken thighs make a good base, as does a whole chicken chopped into pieces that fit your pot. We’ve adapted this dish, as does everyone, to cope with the ingredients and the equipment we have.


Vegetable moussaka

A rich layering of lentils, eggplant, tomatoes, mushrooms and more, this vegetable moussaka is a winner, or so the boys in the family say. It delivers on its promise as a really delicious vegan meal.

Garlic and preserved lemons with tagliatelle

Garlic and preserved lemon with tagliatelle

Once you discover how easy it is to make your own preserved lemons, you’ll then be on a mission to find ways to use them. We have two recipes in one here: both use garlic, parsley and preserved lemon, and one adds in dried mushrooms and cashew cream to fill out the flavour. You could also use normal…

Cream of mushroom soup

Sunday soup: cream of mushroom

Sunday night is for soup. Tonight it’s cream of mushroom, using the beautiful orange saffron milkcap mushrooms we picked on our mushrooming adventure. Because we have people in the house who just don’t like cream, we’ve gone vegan and used cashews for the ‘cream’ part of the soup. It’s really tasty and surprisingly filling.

A platter of delicious wild saffron milkcap mushrooms, prepared especially for Saturday brunch

Brunchtime wild mushrooms

This is the brunch that converted our son to liking mushrooms, so it has a treasured place in our family history. This dish also happen to be a thoroughly delicious and filling brunch, but it 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.

The ghost fungus, Omphalotus nidiformis, glows a ghostly green at night

Our mushrooming adventure

Our mushrooming adventure in a nearby pine forest, and our discovery of glow-in-the-dark mushrooms, mushrooms with sugar on top (avoid eating these), saffron milkcaps, and some strange brown mushrooms that someone thought were slippery jacks.

View from the top: saffron milkcap (Lactarius deliciosus)

A heavenly mushroom treat: saffron milkcap

Saffron milkcap mushrooms are nothing like our normal Australian field mushrooms. It’s not just their colour: they have a delicate flavour that we should treasure. Saute them in a little olive oil or butter and serve them for a fine autumn breakfast.