Lucy’s magic mushrooms

According to a recent press release mushrooms are one of New Zealanders’ most-loved vegetables, along with potatoes and tomatoes. Potatoes and tomatoes I can understand, but mushrooms? I suspect the dark arts of PR at work here (not even vegetables are safe) – the findings were based on a Household Economic Survey that probably measures expenditure. Ergo, potatoes would be up there due to volume, but I suspect the price of mushrooms and tomatoes has something to do with their elevated status.
That’s not to detract from the magic of mushrooms though. I like them as much as the next person, especially if that next person happens to be my neighbour (also called Lucy) who brought over an amazing bowl of mushrooms a while ago. This – more or less – is what she did to them.

Lucy’s magic mushrooms
When I came to make these myself I couldn’t quite remember Lucy’s exact instructions, but a bit of creative licence goes a long way. We ate them as tapas when she came over, but when I made them myself I served them over a bit of pearl barley tossed in tahini and mushroom juices. It made a very good take-to-work lunch.

250g portobello mushrooms
2Tbsp olive oil
1-2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper

Wipe the mushrooms clean and slice into halves or quarters. Heat the olive oil in a small pan, then toss the mushrooms in. Saute gently until they are juicy, then pour in the vinegar. Turn off the heat and remove the mushrooms to a bowl. Season to taste. Eat immediately with crusty bread and a glass of wine, or enjoy later (with another glass of wine, naturally).

What’s your favourite thing to do with mushrooms?



  1. September 25, 2012 / 7:28 pm

    I absolutely adore mushrooms and will be trying these myself, so thank you for the recipe x

  2. September 25, 2012 / 8:04 pm

    Love mushrooms – these would be a great addition to our Saturday tapas spread. Mushrooms for breakfast are my fav – gently fried in butter then lashings of cream cheese or cream and handfuls of parsley and thyme. Used to be with 7 grain toast but now just naked on a plate with a couple of eggs.

  3. September 25, 2012 / 11:37 pm

    I love mushrooms! I usually sauté them with finely chopped garlic or shallots then add some cream and wine, freshly chopped parsley and serve with toast. Super simple, but über yummy.
    I'm surprised kumara isn't up there in "NZ's favourite vegetables" – it does sound like there are some dubious stats going on.

  4. September 26, 2012 / 5:17 am

    Mmm…most loved…I concur PR as I may be mushroom lover but I know so many people that can't abide the little morsels! I like them a little creamy & tossed through pasta….my quick go to bowl of comfort food.

  5. September 26, 2012 / 5:46 am

    i enjoy mushrooms but don't eat them often because they are very expensive here (rarely below $10/kilo). so i make sure i have a recipe in mind when i buy them, so i don't risk leaving them in the fridge and accidentally creating my own dried muchrooms …

  6. September 27, 2012 / 6:03 am

    These mushrooms look amazing! I love the simplicity and simplicity is the best. Mushrooms plus balsamic..can't beat that as a side or small meal..not to mention on toasted bread!

  7. September 30, 2012 / 3:58 pm


    My favourite thing to do with mushrooms is to eat them, any way they are cooked. They are really my favourite things 🙂

  8. November 23, 2012 / 1:45 pm

    Lucy indeed made a magic out of the mushrooms, because she made you like it. 😉 Anyway, there are far more reasons to like mushrooms, and not only when Lucy does her magic. Hehe. Mushrooms have high levels of protein that help in decreasing one’s cholesterol. It is also an ideal diet for the diabetic, because it does not have cholesterol and carbohydrates. On the other hand, it has high levels of vitamins, proteins and minerals.

    Mack Shepperson

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