Try some of these meat-free mushroom meals for springtime

Grilled Mushroom Salad Pizza
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SOUTH AFRICANS love to celebrate September 1 as the beginning of spring (this year I noticed it was leaning towards “Spring Day” and not a statement of the change of seasons), but we still have some chilly weather and rain ahead of us before the official Spring Equinox on September 23. After that, you are fully entitled to complain about inclement conditions.

That said, there are the occasional balmy days sneaking in, and our thoughts turn to lighter, meat-free meals, whether on a Monday or any other day of the week. Heritage Day is also on the horizon, and the modern tradition of National Braai Day. Again, any day. Here are some gorgeous new recipes from The South African Mushroom Farmers’ Association to get you in the mood for summer lovin’.

GRILLED MUSHROOM SALAD PIZZA 

Makes 2 medium sized pizzas 

Ingredients

  • ± 500g store bought pizza dough 
  • 2 large portobello mushrooms 
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated 
  • 250ml tomato based pizza/ pasta sauce 
  • 300g mozzarella, grated 
  • 150g baby portabellini mushrooms, sliced in half 
  • 100g cherry tomatoes, sliced in half 
  • 1 head romaine or cos lettuce, torn or roughly chopped
  • ¼ red onion 
  • 50g feta cheese, crumbled 
  • 2 Tbsp toasted seed mix 
  • Red wine vinegar, for dressing 
  • Olive oil, for cooking and dressing 
  • Salt and pepper, to taste 

Method

  • Preheat braai onto medium high heat. 
  • Place a large pizza stone, cast iron pan or in a pinch a baking tray on the braai to preheat. 
  • Brush portobellos with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. 
  • Braai until tender and nicely charred all over. Set aside to rest. 
  • Divide the pizza dough in two and roll out into rounds. 
  • Place dough onto a flour dusted wooden board. 
  • Drizzle with a little olive oil and spread the olive oil along with the garlic over the dough. 
  • Spread with tomato sauce and scatter with mozzarella. 
  • Dot portabellinis and cherry tomatoes all over. Season lightly. 
  • Slide the pizza off the wooden board onto the preheated pizza stone. 
  • Close the lid and cook until the base is crispy and the cheese has melted. 
  • Repeat with the other pizza. 
  • Place lettuce, onion, feta and seeds in a bowl. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and red wine vinegar. Season well and toss. 
  • Pile a generous amount of salad on top of each pizza. 
  • Finish with large chunks of the braaied portabella mushrooms. 

MUSHROOM & CAULIFLOWER KEBABS WITH SPICY HERB SAUCE

Makes 6 kebabs 

Ingredients

Spicy herb sauce:

  • 80ml olive oil
  • 1 whole jalapeño, chopped (deseeded if desired) 
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 large bunch coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • ½ tsp chilli flakes
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper 

Kebabs:

  • 5 large portobello mushrooms, cut into quarters 
  • 1 small head of cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 3 stalks celery, cut into large chunks 
  • 2 yellow bell peppers, cut into chunky pieces 
  • Lemon wedges, for serving 
  • Labneh, for serving 
  • 6 wooden skewers, soaked in water or 6 metal skewers

Method

Spicy herb sauce:

  • Add all ingredients to a food processor and blitz until well combined. 

Kebabs:

  • Preheat braai to medium high heat. 
  • Thread all vegetables onto 6 skewers, alternating as you go. 
  • Brush vegetables generously with the spicy herb sauce. 
  • Place on the braai and cook, rotating often until the vegetables are tender. 
  • Brush with a fresh coating of herb sauce. 
  • Serve on a generous swish of labneh with a crisp side salad.

PORTABELLA SHAWARMA 

Serves 4

Ingredients

Mushrooms:

  • 8 large portobello mushrooms
  • 1 tsp sumac
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 200g double cream plain yoghurt 
  • 1 garlic clove, finely grated 

Sumac salt:

  • 1 Tbsp sumac
  • 1 Tbsp flaky sea salt 

To serve:

  • 100g feta, crumbled 
  • ½ red onion, sliced finely 
  • 4 large pita breads
  • Shredded lettuce
  • Large pickles / gherkins, sliced
  • Olive oil, for cooking
  • Salt and pepper, to taste 

Method

  • Preheat braai to a medium high heat. 
  • Combine all the mushroom seasoning ingredients into a spice paste mix. 
  • Brush all over the mushrooms. 
  • Thread the portobellos onto a large metal skewer. 
  • Place on the braai and cook, rotating often, until the mushrooms are tender and charred on all sides. 
  • Whisk yoghurt and garlic together. 
  • Mix sumac and salt together. 
  • Just before the mushrooms are cooked, place pitas onto the braai and toast lightly. 
  • Serve the mushroom shawarma by slicing it thinly off the skewer. 
  • Serve onto braaied pitas swished with garlic yoghurt and top with lettuce, red onion, feta and pickles. Sprinkle everything with sumac salt.

WARM MUSHROOM, QUINOA & FETA SALAD

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 clove garlic, finely grated
  • 100ml olive oil
  • 60ml  red wine vinegar
  • 15ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 ¾ cup water 
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 300g mixed salad greens 
  • Handful fresh dill sprigs 
  • 1 medium sized Mediterranean cucumber, sliced
  • 4 radishes, thinly sliced 
  • 180g barrel aged feta cheese, sliced into large chunks 
  • 400g white button mushrooms, sliced in half 
  • Olive oil, for cooking 
  • Salt and pepper, to taste 

Method

  • Preheat braai on medium high heat. 
  • Place all the vinaigrette ingredients together in a glass jar with a lid. 
  • Season well with salt and pepper. 
  • Shake jar to emulsify and set aside until serving. 
  • Rinse quinoa well in a fine metal sieve under cool running water. 
  • Combine the quinoa, water and salt in a medium pot. 
  • Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat and leave covered for 10 more minutes.
  • Fluff with a fork.
  • Toss mushrooms in a bowl with a little drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper. 
  • Place cut side down onto the braai and cook until lightly charred and just tender. 
  • In a large mixing bowl combine the salad greens, dill, cucumber and radish. 
  • Add the warm mushrooms and quinoa. 
  • Drizzle everything with a little dressing and toss lightly. 
  • Pile onto a serving platter and finish with feta chunks. 
  • Serve the salad straight away.
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