I hate to wish the lovely summer away but I do look forward to autumn as it brings with it an abundance of lovely mushrooms! Available in so many varieties, mushrooms have been used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine for their healing properties. Their benefits include boosting the immune system, being anti-inflammatory and anti-viral, supporting liver function and cholesterol levels, and some may have anti cancer properties too. Not bad for little funghi! Popular varieties include shiitake, portabello, button, chestnut, oyster, enoki and porcini. Cordyceps is another variety that is lesser known in cooking, but is used extensively in Chinese medicine for it's ability to support the adrenal glands and help the body maintain resilience in times of stress.
This quick and tasty midweek meal allows the individual flavours and textures of the mushrooms to take centre stage. Use any varieties you like and for smaller mushrooms try to leave them whole for more texture.
1 tbsp butter
400g mixed mushrooms, chopped. (I used portobello, shiitake and oyster).
3-4 cloves garlic, finely sliced or chopped.
4 sprigs fresh thyme
2-3 tbsp water or vegetable stock
2 tbsp sour cream or coconut cream
1 tbsp fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped.
1 tbsp grated parmesan (optional)
2 courgettes OR 2-4 slices toasted sourdough bread.
1 Melt the butter in a large frying pan over a medium heat, add the garlic and whole thyme sprigs and heat through for 1 minute, make sure the garlic doesn't burn.
2 Add in the mushrooms, if your pan is on the small side you may need to do this in 2 batches. Stir to distribute the mushrooms through the garlicky, thyme butter.
3 Add the water or stock to the pan and cover. Cook over a medium heat for 2-3 minutes then remove the lid.
4 Meanwhile, toast your bread or make courgette pasta using a spiraliser/julienne peeler or ordinary flat peeler. To avoid watery courgette pasta, I suggest sprinkling the prepared courgettes with a little salt, mix and leave for a couple of minutes, then wrap in a clean towel or kitchen paper and squeeze out the excess water.
5 Add the sour cream to the mushroom mix and simmer, uncovered for 1 minute until thickened.
6 To serve, either spoon the mushrooms and their sauce directly onto sourdough toast or add courgette pasta to the pan and heat through with the mushroom mix before serving.
7 Sprinkle individual portions with parsley and grated parmesan.
*For a more satisfying meal I like to top mine with a fried or poached egg!