wild mushroom parcels

June 26, 2011

I got a new cookbook the other day that I’m very excited about. It’s called Plenty: Vibrant Vegetable Recipes from London’s Ottolenghi. The author, Yotam Ottolenghi, is not veg or vegan but has a deep respect for all things green and grain. He says that despite being a meat eater, “my vegetarian image was rightly based on the fact that I was brought up in Israel and Palestine and was exposed to the multitude of vegetables, pulses, and grains that are celebrated in the region’s different cuisines…This is why vegetarian cooking didn’t turn out to be a chore for me. I like meat and I like fish but I can easily cook without them. My grandmother’s vinegar-marinated zucchini, or ripe figs we used to down before dinner, are as substantial and basic as any cut of meat I used to have.” Amen. So this is the first of Ottolenghi’s recipes I’m going to try and expect to bring to you v:gourmetians. I veganized them as he added cream, and I switched up a few of the herbs. But it’s all good. We’re having these tasty little aromatic bundles for lunch with wild rice. Full stop.

3.5 cups mixed wild mushrooms

3.5 cups baby button mushrooms

5 baby potatoes

4 garlic cloves, crushed

fresh thyme, oregano, basil

2 tbsps sherry

4 tbsps olive oil

sea salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut 4 square sheets of parchment paper 14 inches long and wide.

Wipe the mushrooms clean using a wet cloth or a little brush. Leave them whole or cut them into large pieces, depending on their size. Cut the potatoes into 3/8-inch-thick slices.

In a large bowl, gently toss together all of the ingredients using your hands. Take care not to break the mushrooms. Taste and adjust the amount of salt and pepper.

Divide the mix between the paper sheets. Lift the edges and scrunch them together to create tight bundles, then secure with ovenproof string. Lift the parcels onto a baking sheet.

Place in the oven to cook for 17 minutes. Take out and leave to settle for 1 minute. Serve the parcels sealed, allowing the diners to open them up themselves.

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