I do seem to be on a mushroom kick, not just the vegetarian kick. Growing up, the only mushroom I was really exposed to was the button mushroom. Not to knock it, because that type is fine, but there really is such a variety to choose from. Different “meatiness” and flavours which can make dishes exciting. We were at the library a few weeks ago and my husband found a cookery book by Yotam Ottolenghi called Ottolenghi Simple. I love his approach to food. His recipe featuring mushroom and feta caught my eye so here is my version. It’s not too different from his though I adjusted the amounts of the ingredients a little here and there. I also added garlic because I love it paired with mushrooms and thyme.
When making this dish, try to find as many different varieties of mushrooms as you can. It should celebrate them. I was unlucky as when I went there wasn’t any variety! So strange as I can usually find about 5 types.
Technique for Mushroom and Feta
Prep the ingredients prior to starting to cook, including the bulger wheat, as it does not take long to cook. The original recipe calls for adding salt and pepper to the bulger before soaking but I decided not to do that. I’m a huge lover of salt but I knew there would be plenty of that flavour from the feta and I seasoned the mushrooms as they cooked.
In a skillet, heat up 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and cook the onions for several minutes until they soften and begin to caramelise. Add 1/2 teaspoon of the cumin seeds. Stir and keep an eye on the seeds. You don’t want them to burn but you do want them to brown. Remove the onion and seeds, set aside.
If need be, add a bit more olive oil and then sauté the mushrooms. Once they begin to brown add the garlic. Cook for a couple of minutes then add another 1/2 teaspoon of cumin seed and the thyme. Again cook for a couple of minutes.
Add the balsamic vinegar and stir. This will reduce and absorb quite quickly. Add the rest of the ingredients, including the onions, and let warm through, about a minute. Spoon over mixed lettuce and garnish with more fresh dill. Serve immediately.
We really enjoyed this dish and I’m going to add this as a choice for the food bowls we do for lunch. Hopefully I’ll have better choice with the mushrooms.
Mushroom and Feta
Mushrooms flavoured with thyme and dill, accompanied by feta over lettuce.
- 1/3 cup bulger wheat
- boiling water, enough to cover the bulger wheat
- 3-4 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup finely sliced red onion
- 1 tsp cumin seed
- 1-1 1/2 cups sliced mixed mushrooms
- 3 cloves of garlic, coarsely chopped
- sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 cup fresh chopped dill
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1-2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 2 cups mixed lettuce
Place the bulger wheat into a bowl and cover with boiling water until the water is an inch over the wheat. The bulger wheat will expand by quite a bit. Keep covered by a tea towel until all the water is absorbed.
Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil on medium-high heat in a skillet and add the onion. Cook until it starts to soften and caramelise. Should take about 7 minutes. Add 1/2 teaspoon of cumin seed. Cook, careful not to burn, until they are nicely browned. This will only take a couple of minutes. Remove the mixture from the skillet and set aside.
If needed, add a bit more olive oil. Heat on high and add the mushrooms. Because the olive oil has a low smoke point, keep an eye on it and lower to medium-high if it starts to catch. When the mushrooms start to brown, add the garlic. Season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Cook for a few minutes.
Add the thyme and the rest of the cumin seeds. Stir well and again cook for a few minutes.
Add the balsamic vinegar while stirring. This will reduce and absorb quickly. Add all the other ingredients including the onion mixture. Allow it to warm through.
To serve, divide the lettuce between 2 plates, top with the mushroom mixture and garnish with fresh dill.