This dish reminds me of my childhood. I used to travel around a lot dog-showing with my mother. It was a wonderful time, the weekends spent camping and barbecuing. Also the pit-stop pub visits on the long journeys home. As a vegetarian twenty odd years ago, I often found the pub mainstay was the mushroom stroganoff, if I was lucky, dusted with paprika and served alongside white rice flecked with wild rice. It’s so nostalgic, but still a bloody great meal. I’ve added chard to round it out a bit, but spinach works just as well. Feel free to add some wild rice to keep true to the nineties.
Photography: Joe Woodhouse
4 tbsp neutral oil (such as groundnut or sunflower)
750g mixed mushrooms (button, chestnut and portobello), whole, halved, quartered or sliced, depending on size
2 onions, finely sliced
5 garlic cloves, finely sliced
1 teaspoon paprika (preferably sweet)
¼ teaspoon cayenne or chilli powder
200ml white wine or cider
300g rainbow chard, leaves separated from stalks, stalks finely sliced, leaves roughly chopped
200ml crème fraîche
3 tablespoons lemon juice, or more to taste
15g parsley or chervil (or both), finely chopped
sea salt flakes and black pepper
boiled rice, to serve
Heat half the oil in a deep pan large enough to accommodate everything. Fry the mushrooms over a medium heat for 5–7 minutes, turning once or twice, until a good golden brown colour. If they begin to stick, add a splash of water to keep everything moving. Once the mushrooms are coloured well, scoop out and reserve.
Add the remaining oil followed by the onions and a good pinch of salt and cook for 12–15 minutes until translucent and soft. Follow with the garlic and give them a stir. Add the mushrooms back in, along with the paprika and cayenne or chilli powder. Stir to combine well in the pan.
Add the wine or cider and allow the alcohol to bubble off for 30 seconds. Add the chard stalks along with the stock and cook for 5 minutes. Then add the crème fraîche and allow to bubble away for 2 minutes until slightly thickened.
Add the chard leaves and simmer for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the lemon juice with the chopped herbs. Check the seasoning and add more salt if needed. A good grind of black pepper is welcome. Serve spooned on top of rice.
Vegetables sometimes don’t get the airtime that they should, and Joe Woodhouse’s cookbook puts them centre stage. Taking you through the seasons and giving you simple, comforting, nourishing recipes, this cookbook is one that you’ll want on your shelf mid-week and at the weekend. Your Daily Veg: Modern, Fuss-Free Vegetarian Food by Joe Woodhouse is published by Kyle Books, 22.00, www.octopusbooks.co.uk. Photography Credit: Joe Woodhouse.