This dish takes its inspiration from the smoky fireside mushrooms cooked and eaten outside in the woods. I greatly enjoy cooking over a fire but it isn’t a daily practicality for most of us, and the closest way to achieve smokily charred results at home is to use a griddle pan – be sure to put the fan on or open the windows, though.
Traditionally, these sorts of mushrooms are made with coriander seeds and bay leaves in a cast-iron pot, the coriander adding citrus notes and the bay adding to the earthiness of the mushrooms. Often they are eaten with brown lentils.
– 2 red onions, each cut into 8 wedges 4 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling
– 400g button or brown field mushrooms, chopped if large
– 1 bay leaf, bruised
– 1 tbsp runny honey
– 1 tsp cumin seeds
For the dressing
– 1 lemon, juiced
– 2 tsp coriander seeds, bashed to release their flavour (not crushed)
– 1 tsp fine sea salt
– 12 fresh mint leaves, roughly torn
– 2 slices of sourdough toast
– Olive oil, for drizzling
1. Put a large frying pan and a griddle pan on the hob over a high heat, and while they are heating up, put the onions into a bowl and toss with a tablespoon of olive oil.
2. Toss the mushrooms in a second bowl with the remaining oil, then tumble them into the smoking hot griddle pan and griddle them for around 6–8 minutes, until they char all over, turning them with tongs from time to time.
3. At the same time put the onions and bay leaf into the frying pan, drizzle over the honey, and cook over a high heat for around 6 minutes, turning every so often so they don’t burn -the aim is for the onions to char a little around
the edges but still be soft in the middle.
4. Add the cumin seeds to the pan, toss and cook for a further 2 minutes. Turn off the heat under both pans, then tip the mushrooms into the frying pan and stir everything together.
5. To make the dressing, whisk the lemon juice, coriander seeds, salt and mint leaves together with a fork. Drizzle the dressing over the charred vegetables in the frying pan, stir one last time to lift all the caramelised honey from the bottom of the pan, then spoon over olive oil-drizzled toast.
Strudel, Noodles and Dumplings is a cook book about Germany’s varied culinary heritage
seen through the eyes of Anja Dunk’s family recipes, most of which have been given a new life in her young family kitchen.
Anja was born in Wales to a German mother and a Welsh father. Her childhood was spent predominantly in Wales but also in Germany and South East Asia, where she moved to and from over the early years of her life.