Mushrooms à la Grecque

Serves 4-6 as an hors d'oeuvre
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Indy Lifestyle Online

Bet it's a while since you heard anyone mention hors d'oeuvre. Until well into the late Seventies, trolleys groaning with bits and bobs were wheeled round restaurants and you'd pick your starter from there.

Bet it's a while since you heard anyone mention hors d'oeuvre. Until well into the late Seventies, trolleys groaning with bits and bobs were wheeled round restaurants and you'd pick your starter from there.

A la Grecque was, and still is, a cooking term for vegetables cooked in oil and water with herby flavourings. When I was working in the kitchens of the Grosvenor House hotel, there was always a tray of cauliflower and button mushrooms in the walk-in fridge. I never knew why they were there and where they were f served. Maybe they'd just been sitting there in that pool of oil since the Seventies. Meaty mushrooms, such as ceps or girolles, are best for this as they stay nice and firm in the cooking liquid. If you can't get hold of them then button mushrooms or a mixture of button and other cultivated mushrooms, such as oyster or pied bleu, will do. They can be served with a selection of other starters or as part of a buffet, or taken on a picnic.

600g wild mushrooms, cleaned
3 large shallots, peeled and finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic peeled and crushed
1tsp chopped fresh oregano or thyme
100ml olive oil
100ml vegetable stock
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp chopped parsley

Cut the wild mushrooms into even sized pieces, but leave them quite chunky. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan add the mushrooms, shallots, garlic and oregano, season and cook gently for 3-4 minutes with a lid on. Add the vegetable stock and continue to simmer gently without a lid, stirring occasionally for another 3-4 minutes until the stock has evaporated and just the oil is left. You may need to simmer them a little longer as some mushrooms might contain more water. Remove from the heat, stir in the parsley and re-season if necessary. Serve at room temperature.

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