Chestnut mushrooms have a deep, earthy flavour and are high in protein, phytochemicals, vitamins and minerals. They are one of my favourite ingredients as they are very versatile. I love them on toast for a quick lunch, pan fried in olive oil with garlic and oregano or, in the classic French way, with Dijon mustard and coriander seeds. They also make a great addition to risottos, soups, stews and pies and add a quasi meaty element to vegetarian recipes.
I cooked this mushroom filo parcel mid-week and it was the perfect pick me up after a cold and rainy day in Lockdown. I like to use Filo pastry because it is a lot healthier and less fatty than puff or short crust pastry and I also use olive oil instead of melted butter to moisten the layers of pastry. The fiddliest part with Filo is handling the paper thin sheets as they are delicate and tear easily (although these do disappear as you build up the layers). To stop the pastry drying out, cover with a damp tea towel.
- 500 grams chestnut mushrooms
- 8-10 sheets of filo pastry
- 1 small onion
- 2 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice or 2 tablespoons of wine
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- olive oil
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
- 1 egg (optional)
- 2 tablespoons of hard grated cheese such as Parmesan or Swiss Comte (optional)
- Clean and slice mushrooms and chop the onion and garlic. Do not need to peel the mushrooms as their skin adds goodness and flavour.
- Heat oil in a frying pan and add the onion, mushrooms and garlic and cook over a moderate heat for several minutes.
- Add mustard and lemon juice (or wine) and cook for around a minute or so until mushrooms and onions are just tender. (Beware of overcooking mushrooms as they will become rubbery).
- Remove cooked mixture from pan and allow to cool.
- Cover a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
- Place filo sheets one on top of the other on the baking tray, brushing every second sheet with olive oil. To prevent the rest of the pastry from drying out as you do this, cover with a damp tea towel.
- Once you have finished layering the pastry sheets, spoon the mushroom mixture on the top, slightly off-centre and parallel with the short sides of the pastry. (see pic.)
- If adding the egg, make a small dent in the mushroom mixture and break egg into it. Sprinkle grated cheese over it.
- Fold the pastry to cover the mixture and tuck in the top and bottom ends.
- Brush the pastry with oil and sprinkle poppy seeds on top.
- Bake at 200C/180CFan/ 400F/Gas mark 6-7 for 10 minutes.
- Lower oven to 180C/160 Fan/ 350 F/ Gas mark 4 and cook for a further 10-15 minutes or until the pastry is cooked and golden in colour.