MORRIS WEGRODZKI MASTER CHEF
Make mushrooms the meat of your meal for fresh flavour and a nutritional payload. Wegrodzki provides his plates for morel support
Seasonal produce is the simplest way to harvest more natural flavour and nutritional substance from any dish. This month, it’s time to pop a cap in your eating plan
01 SHROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT
Nearly 70% of the mushrooms we buy from supermarkets are white buttons. But, as it’s Britain’s peak fungi foraging season, we suggest you branch out with the help of Morris Wegrodzki, executive chef at London’s top vegetarian destination the Gate. The mushroom’s meaty texture and mineral payload make any variety a star ingredient, whether you’re a vegan, veggie or, er, normal. Add magic to your meal with the UK’S best shrooms.
02 FINDERS EATERS
When foraging, treat the ingredients delicately to protect their flavour and avoid breaking down their nutrients. “Don’t rip – cut,” advises Wegrodzki. The best tool to use is a mushroom knife-and-brush combo (£ 42 farrar-tanner.co.uk). Then, place your haul in a wide, shallow trug (£ 33 thebasketcompany.com). “This lets your mushrooms spread out and prevents them from squashing.” Don’t wash them, either (“They’ll go slimy”) – that’s what the brush on your knife is for. Once in the kitchen, place a large non-stick pan over medium heat and add one handful of mushrooms at a time. Be careful not to crowd the pan; cooking too many at once may cause them to steam in their juices rather than sauté. Patience is key – stir occasionally and remove only when your fungi are no longer producing moisture. Field to table? You’ve
got it licked.
03 CAP IT ALL OFF
After the number of vegans in the UK soared to 3.5 million earlier this year – and with research suggesting that a flexitarian diet can improve both weight loss and heart health – Wegrodzki devised four meatless recipes that afford the honest mushroom the nutritional hero status it so richly deserves.