Scrumptious mushrooms on the coals – you won’t even miss the meat

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EVERYONE’S ready for summer, the braai, the beach and the sun. Luckily the South African Mushroom Farmers’ Association’s  flavoursome, low kilojoule and easy-to-make mushroom braai recipes will also keep your body in tip-top shape for a summer that promises to be the best since 2020.

Whether you’re just cutting down a bit on meat or going vegetarian or vegan, SAMFA’s got you covered. 

BRAAI MUSHROOMS WITH CHICKPEA STUFFING 

Makes  8 (pictured above)

Ingredients:

Tahini lemon drizzle: 

  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 80ml freshly squeezed lemon juice 
  • 150g tahini
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • Pinch of salt 

Lemony breadcrumbs:

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 50g breadcrumbs 
  • 1 small garlic clove, grated 
  • Zest of 1 lemon 

Stuffing:

  • 2 tins of chickpeas, drained and rinsed 
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 shallots, finely diced
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced 
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp chilli flakes
  • 3 Tbsp chives, chopped
  • 3 Tbsp parsley, chopped
  • 8 large portabello mushrooms
  • Olive oil, for cooking 
  • Salt and pepper, to taste 

Method

  • Preheat braai to medium high heat. 

For the tahini lemon drizzle:

  • Combine the garlic and lemon juice and blend briefly with a stick blender.
  • Allow flavours to develop for 5 minutes and then strain through a fine mesh sieve. 
  • In a medium sized bowl combine the garlic infused lemon juice, tahini, cumin and salt. 
  • Pour in the cold water and whisk to combine until smooth. 

For the lemony breadcrumbs: 

  • Heat olive oil in a frying pan. 
  • Add breadcrumbs and toast until golden. Season well with salt and pepper.
  • Switch off the heat and add the garlic, mixing it in well using the residual heat. 
  • Finally mix in the lemon zest and set aside until serving. 

For the stuffing:

  • Toast chickpeas in a dry frying pan for a few minutes until beginning to brown. 
  • Combine all the stuffing ingredients and the toasted chickpeas in a bowl together and season to taste. 

For the mushrooms:

  • Brush the portabellos with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  • Braai until tender and lightly charred all over. 
  • Turn mushrooms gills side up and fill with the stuffing. 
  • Close braai lid and allow to heat through. 
  • Serve stuffed portabellos with a sprinkle of lemony breadcrumbs and a generous dollop of tahini drizzle. 

MUSHROOM & COUSCOUS BRAAI BUTTERNUT 

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 3 medium butternuts

Stuffing: 

  • 1 cup couscous 
  • 250ml chicken or vegetable stock, just boiled
  • 200g baby leeks, sliced
  • 300g baby portabellini/baby button mushrooms, sliced in half 
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced 
  • 1 small chilli, sliced and deseeded if desired 
  • 100g feta cheese, crumbled 
  • Handful fresh parsley, roughly chopped 
  • 3 Tbsp za’atar spice blend 
  • Olive oil, for cooking
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Method

  • Preheat braai to medium high heat. 
  • Cut each butternut in half and scoop out the seeds. 
  • Brush the halves with olive oil and season well with salt. 
  • Wrap in tinfoil and place on the braai.
  • Braai for 30 – 40 minutes, or until cooked through and soft when pierced with a knife.
  • When the butternut is almost ready, prepare the filling. 
  • Place couscous in a bowl and pour over the stock. 
  • Mix and cover with a lid or tight plastic wrap. 
  • Using a large cast iron pan on the braai or stovetop, heat a drizzle of olive oil.
    Add the sliced leeks and cook until tender. 
  • Add the baby button mushrooms and cook until tender.
  • Add the garlic and chilli and cook until fragrant. 
  • Fluff up the couscous with a fork and add to the pan. Toss to combine. 
  • Remove filling from the heat and mix in the roughly crumbled feta cheese and parsley. 
  • Unwrap butternut halves and fill generously with the mushroom stuffing.
  • Sprinkle liberally with za’atar and serve straight away.

MUSHROOM GARLIC BREAD 

Serves 4-6 

Ingredients

  • 1 large baguette
  • 115g butter, softened
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely grated
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 Tbsp parsley, chopped
  • 60g Parmesan, grated 
  • 250g portabellini mushrooms, sliced 
  • Fresh thyme leaves, for serving
  • Olive oil, for cooking 
  • Salt and pepper, to taste  

Method

  • Preheat braai onto a medium heat. 
  • Cut the baguette lengthwise in half. 
  • Toast baguette halves until lightly golden brown on the braai, cut side down. Remove. 
  • Combine butter, garlic, oregano and a good amount of salt and pepper in a small bowl. 
  • Mix well. 
  • Spread evenly over the bread. 
  • Sprinkle bread with half of the Parmesan. 
  • Heat a frying pan on high heat or a cast iron pan on the braai. 
  • Add a drizzle of olive oil and cook the mushrooms until tender and golden. Season well. 
  • Spread mushrooms all over the bread and finish with the rest of the parmesan. 
  • Return the bread to the braai and close the lid. Cook until the cheese and garlic butter mixture melt into the bread and the outside is crisp. 
  • (If you don’t have a braai with a lid, wrap the garlic mushroom bread in tinfoil.) 
  • Serve straight off the braai, sprinkle with thyme leaves and cut into chunky wedges. 

PORTABELLO STEAKS, ZUCCHINI CHIPS & GARLIC AIOLI

Serves 2

Ingredients

Cheat’s garlic aioli:

  • 1 large clove garlic, finely grated 
  • 125ml high quality French style creamy mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • Pinch of sea salt 

Chips:

  • 4 large zucchinis/baby marrows 
  • 3 Tbsp Parmesan cheese, finely grated 
  • 1 tsp garlic powder 

Steaks:

  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup mixed fresh herbs, parsley / oregano / mint / basil etc 
  • 160ml olive oil
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • Pinch of sea salt 
  • 4 large portabello mushroom steaks 

Method

For the aioli:

  • Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk well. 
  • Season to taste and set aside in the fridge until serving. 

For the chips: 

  • Using a mandoline or very sharp knife, cut the zucchini into very thin rounds. 
  • Toss in a bowl with a good pinch of salt. 
  • Spread the slices out in a single layer on a clean dishcloth for 5 minutes.
  • Take another dishcloth and cover them and press gently to extract as much water out of the zucchini as possible. 
  • Heat an air fryer to 180˚C. 
  • Coat the air fryer basket or tray with cooking / olive oil spray. 
  • Add enough zucchini slices to sit in a single layer. 
  • Sprinkle zucchini with about 1 Tbsp of the grated Parmesan cheese and a little garlic powder. Air-fry until golden-brown, 7 to 8 minutes. 
  • Check the chips halfway through. Small chips may brown and crisp before larger ones.
  • Transfer the chips to a serving plate. Repeat air frying the remaining zucchini. 

For the steaks:

  • Preheat a braai on medium high heat. 
  • Combine all the ingredients except the mushrooms in a small jug.
  • Blitz with a stick blender. 
  • Place mushrooms steaks on the braai and brush them liberally with the herby garlic oil. 
  • Braai until tender and lightly charred all over, basting while you cook. 
  • Serve mushrooms hot off the braai with a pile of zucchini chips, a good dollop of aioli and some more herb oil on the side. 

Enjoy! 

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