NATURAL BORN FEEDER
Roz Purcell’s virtuous viscount biscuits
I am lovebombing the last of my fungi friends before they are swallowed up by spring. Mushrooms have to be one of the most sophisticated and understated veggies we’re not eating. They are the Woody Allen of the grocers — hardly overburdened with good looks, but scrumptious and inexplicably nourishing all the same.
When my local grocer stocks up on wild Irish shrooms, my giddy shrieks can be felt several postcodes away. Mainstream supermarkets have even started stocking weird-looking fungi, which will make the hunt for this week’s ingredients a delightful doddle.
Mushrooms are fun guys in the kitchen (get it?!). They bring great depth to dishes, as well as inimitable flavour profiles.
Apart from their meaty, lip-dancing taste, mushrooms of all sorts like to fangirl our immune system. Especially shiitake mushrooms. For hundreds of years, Chinese doctors have prescribed these mushrooms to boost whiteblood-cell activity.
A unique polysaccharide found in shiitake — the beta glucan — has been shown to tickle the immune system by activating cytokines and killer T-cells. Kind of like a fascinating immune- system defibrillator, as I understand it. More clinical trials are underway to understand the medicinal effect shrooms may offer our bodies.
Building on last week’s column, this mushroom and merlot stew uses bone broth to help it sing. But this ain’t no sing-song. Think opera.
I serve it with a good mash, and a dot of natural yoghurt with freshly grated horseradish. It’s BAE (Beyond Anything Else).
OK, so this teen-speak is normally a reference point for Justin Bieber’s abs, or for bare-chested members of One Direction. Grand, so. Except when you get to my age. Because food will excite you more.