My friend has just started a new job at a mushroom company in Hampshire and I am glad to say that she bought me a beautifully wrapped box of mixed treasures from the range this weekend when we met up. I am always inspired and amazed by my friends and what they achieve and Nic is right up there on that list. In the couple of weeks she has been there settling in, she has already sussed all the varieties, started to get things under her belt and has a clear view on what she wants to do to make her mark in the future.

The glorious daffodil fields at Virginia Water...with a rather wet Lola the dog & her stick!

The glorious daffodil fields at Virginia Water…with a rather wet Lola the dog & her stick!

We spent a glorious day discovering Virginia Water with her Hazel & Lola. I don’t know if it was the clock change or the sunshine, but it truly felt like Spring had sprung. The 3 km walk around the lake actually turned out to be a 6 mile walk around the lake, so I felt justified in indulging tonight and concocted a mushroom medley for dinner.

My fabulous mushroom medley

My fabulous mushroom medley

The mushrooms were a revelation. Not only were the varieties brand new to me, but the flavour and ‘performance’ were equally exciting. These mushrooms had very little water coming from them, which I am told is down to the way they are cultivated, and so the texture and flavour was the best I have had. My mixed box contained….

Nameko: little orange treasures that taste sweet and nutty

Horse – the chunky pale yellow miniature Champagne corks

Shiitake – the only one I knew, but a much better version with intense flavour

Maitake (also called Hen of the Woods) – the feathery one which tastes as good as it looks, peppery and intense

White Shimeji – the little white baby mushrooms that not only looks great but are sweet in taste


Thyme was picked fresh from my indoor garden wall

Thyme was picked fresh from my indoor garden wall

I thought the most respectful thing to do was to keep the mushrooms as the hero and so all the rest was there to accompany and complement rather than take over. So clearing the dregs from the kitchen, I opted for a touch of garlic, butter, cream and some thyme from my indoor garden, along with lots of seasoning. Served with a simple polenta flavoured with a bit of pecorino and topped with a few more cheesey shavings and a drizzle of olive oil, this was a yummy way to end a lovely day with the Nic ensemble.

How I made it:


Selection of mushrooms

clove of garlic

1 spring onion



butter & oil

– prepare the mushrooms and chop as necessary

– melt the butter & oil in a frying pan and gently fry the garlic and onion

– once soft, add the mushrooms and fry gently until soft and caramelised

– add a dash of cream and stir through fresh thyme leaves. Season well

– serve on polenta with a final grating of pecorino and drizzle of good olive oil.

Ta da

Ta da