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This vegan dish is a must for mushroom lovers and the leftovers make great lunchboxes. Full of flavours that we wouldn’t usually put together, that’s the joy of recipes from the Ottolenghi Test Kitchen.

Wine Suggestion: We’re suckers for matching mushrooms with either Pinot Noir, or, like here, with Nebbiolo. Luigi Pira’s Langhe Nebbiolo was our choice as it is so authentically nebbiolo without breaking the bank and opening a Barolo, or Barbaresco. Cherries, rose petals and rich iron with an earthy, mushroomy aroma carrying it through; elegance and power all at once.

Mushroom & rice pilaf – serves 4 as a main or 6 as a side

  • 1-2 dried ancho chillies, stems removed – we used dried chipotle chillies as that’s what we had in the cupboard
  • 30g dried porcini mushroom
  • 500ml vegetable stock (or chicken stock if you prefer)
  • 500g oyster mushrooms
  • 500g large portobello mushrooms, stems discarded, and roughly broken by hand into 6 pieces
  • 1 large onion, halved and cut into ½ cm thick slices
  • 10 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 4 whole star anise
  • 150g soft dried apricots, quartered
  • 150ml olive oil
  • 350g basmati rice, washed until the water runs clear and drained well
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced at a angle
  • 5g picked parsley leaves

Preheat the oven to 220C fan.

Put the dried chillies into a small bowl and cover with boiling water. Leave for 20 minutes, then drain and roughly chop the chillies, including the seeds.

Meanwhile, put the dried mushrooms, stock, 350ml of water, 1¼ tsp of salt and a good grind of pepper into a medium saucepan over a medium heat. Bring to a simmer, then set aside.

Put the oyster mushrooms and portobello mushrooms, onion, garlic, chopped chillies, whole spices, apricots, 120ml of oil, 1 tsp of salt and a good grind of black pepper into a large roasting tin. Stir it all together, then bake for 40 minutes, stirring halfway through.

Remove from the oven and transfer half the mixture to a medium bowl. Stir the rice into the remaining mixture in the tin.

Bring the porcini and stock mixture back to a simmer, then pour over the rice and without stirring, cover the tin tightly with foil. Bake for 25 minutes, then leave to sit, covered, for 10 minutes. Remove the foil and mix gently.

Add the scallions, parsley and final 2 tbsp of olive oil to the reserved mushroom mixture and stir together. Sppon over the rice and serve.

(Original recipe from Ottolenghi Test Kitchen Shelf Love by Noor Murad & Yotam Ottolenghi, Ebury Press, 2021.)

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