Many a weekend we enjoy watching James Martin on Saturday Kitchen, either rustling up a new recipe or umpiring that record breaking omelette race! Now the celebrity chef has created six new mushroom inspired recipes, including his faithful 30-year old Mushroom Soup with Coriander Cress recipe, to urge Brits to get cooking with the versatile vegetable.
He's a huge fan of the protein-packed veggie, which is naturally low in calories, praising their "unique and impressive flavours" and their "fantastic texture which compliments most savoury cuisine.” A controversial vegetable in the taste and texture stakes, opinion is also divided over how to prepare them for cooking. Mushroom maestro James gives us his top tips: "To get the very best from mushrooms you should never wash them, instead wipe them clean with a damp piece of kitchen paper or a special mushroom brush. "Mushrooms can be grilled, braised, slow cooked, barbequed, roasted, or my personal favourite is when they're pan fried or sautéed.
"And when cooking them, use a heavy bottomed pan and a little oil, but don't add the mushrooms until the pan is very hot. Mushrooms are perfect for eating once they’ve achieved a golden brown colour and almost crispy texture." Mushrooms vary enormously in size, flavour and texture. The flat portobello variety pack a punch whilst the more subtly flavoured oyster mushrooms work brilliantly in Oriental dishes.
And the health benefits are plentiful too. In terms of antioxidants, mushrooms rival red peppers and spinach. They contain lots of vitamin B and folic acid, as well as help the body release energy from the food we eat. Click here for James' Mushroom Soup with Coriander Cress recipe.