This dish was borne out of an unexpected abundance of mushrooms in my fridge! Both Jane and her parents had found some beautiful swiss browns in the same week, so we ended up with a stack of them. With plenty of other produce from the markets a last-minute dinner party was in order.
Mushrooms this good deserved to take centre stage in an appetiser. I thought offsetting their earthiness with something fresh would make a good combination — hence the gremolata. Although a traditional gremolata would also include raw garlic, I prefer to add the garlic to the mushrooms to give it a little time cooking. Just enough to take off the edge, mind you, a bit of bite is still ideal. When our guests protested at my attempts to clear the leftover mushrooms from the table I knew I had a winner!
- 500g swiss brown mushrooms
- 1 bunch lemon thyme, roughly chopped (tough stems removed)
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
- 40g butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 lemon
- 100g parsley, coarsely chopped
- Thin slices of sourdough toast, to serve
- Brush the mushrooms with paper towel to remove any dirt. Remove the ends of the stems, then chop through vertically into 3mm slices.
- Heat a large frying pan over a high heat. Melt 10g of the butter with a touch of olive oil until the butter begins to foam.
- Add a third of the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper and fry until starting to colour (but not quite cooked). Put aside and repeat with another two batches of mushrooms.
- Return the pan to a medium heat and melt the remaining butter. Add the mushrooms, lemon thyme and garlic and fry for another 1-2 minutes, until the mushrooms are done, stirring to combine.
- For the gremolata: zest the lemon into the small bowl with a fine grater. Add the juice of the lemon and the parsley then stir to combine.
- To serve top each slice of toast with a generous pile of mushrooms and garnish with a teaspoon or two of gremolata (to taste). Tuck in while it’s hot!