Sunday, 17 July 2016

Marinated Mushrooms with Garlic, Lemon and Herbs, and other Summer Grilled / Marinated Vegetables

Delicious appetiser / antipasti, side dishes, or even starters. Makes for great vegetarian mezze / tapas dishes to share.

I really love mushrooms, and remember making Mushrooms a la Grecque many, many years ago. I thought I'd add my own spin to it, by charring the mushrooms a little first, as a nod to the char-grilled marinated artichokes we enjoy, and a few of my favourite flavours.

Scroll down for a couple of other recipes / suggestions for side dishes to go alongside the mushrooms (as pictured). 

These dishes will collectively serve 4-6 people as sides for lunch, and keep well in the fridge for a few days (see notes).

Calories per serving for those counting: Mushrooms - 70, Asparagus - 50, Peppers and Tomatoes - 61. Total calories for all three dishes as sides - 181.

If you're not counting calories, feel free to slug in extra oil and serve with Parmesan shavings, torn mozzarella, goats' cheese, feta cheese, pine nuts, and / or whatever else you fancy scattered on top or along side!

  • 400g closed cup white mushrooms, cleaned and halved (or you could use closed cup chestnut mushrooms) [64]
  • A little oil to brush / spray the grill / griddle with [5]
  • 125ml dry white wine [58 calories after cooking for 10 minutes]
  • Zest half lemon, finely grated [3]
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice [8]
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed (or to taste) [12]
  • 2 sprigs thyme [-]
  • 1 bay leaf [-]
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano [4]
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt [-]
  • Freshly ground black pepper [1]
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (or more to taste) [123]
  • Small handful flat leaf parsley [1]
[279 calories per quantity, 70 calories per quarter serving]


The marinated mushrooms can be made without griddling them first if you prefer, and just cooked in the marinating liquor.

1. If griddling, then do this first. Heat up a ridged griddle, and brush with a little oil. Place the mushrooms on it, cut side down, and turn around a quarter after a minute or so (depending on how hot your griddle is - you're not trying to cook them, just get a little char on the outside). Turn over onto the rounded side for another few seconds, then put aside in a dish.

2. Put the wine, lemon zest and juice, garlic, herbs, salt and pepper into a small / medium pan and bring to the boil. Add the mushrooms and turn down to a gentle simmer, and cook for 10 minutes.

3. Removed the mushrooms into a dish with a slotted spoon, discarding the thyme and bay. Add three tbsp of the marinating liquor to the mushrooms, a tbsp of extra virgin olive oil (or more to taste), and a handful of chopped flat leaf parsley. Give a good stir, taste one, and add extra seasoning if desired.

4. Can be served warm or room temperature. will keep in the fridge for a few days, and the flavours will develop further.

Charred Asparagus with Lemon and Olive Oil

This is barely a recipe, but it's my favourite way to eat asparagus! It's also really good with French / green beans, or lengthwise slices of courgette, which just require a little less cooking.


  • 1 bunch of asparagus (250g) [70]
  • Lemon juice (about 1 tbsp) [4]
  • Olive oil (about 1 tbsp) [123]
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper [1]
[198 calories per quantity, 50 calories per quarter serving]


1. Wash the asparagus, then gently bend near the bottom end, until the stalk snaps off (it will naturally snap off where it becomes tough - you can save these bottom bits for soup or stock etc. if you like).

2. Toss the asparagus with the dressing ingredients on a plate until thoroughly coated. Pre-heat a griddle (preferably ridged - or you could cook in a basket /pan or tray with holes in over the BBQ), remove asparagus from plate (reserving dressing on plate) and cook for a couple of minutes on each side, depending on the thickness of the asparagus, until a little charred and tender.

3. Toss back in the remaining reserved dressing on the plate and serve warm or room temperature. You could garnish with some shavings of Parmesan cheese if you like.

Roasted peppers with Vine Tomatoes, Basil, Balsamic Vinegar and Olive Oil

Again, barely a recipe, but delicious enough to include. This also makes a delicious topping for bruschetta, with mozarella; or you could substitute the basil for fresh, or crushed, dried oregano, and serve with a little crumbled feta cheese.

  • 1 red and 1 yellow bell pepper (capsicum) (200g) [62]
  • 3 large vine tomatoes, halved through the core and de-seeded (240g) [48]
  • Balsamic vinegar (about 1/2 tbsp, or to taste - use red wine or cider vinegar if preferred) [9]
  • Extra virgin olive oil (about 1 tbsp) [123]
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper [1]
  • Handful of fresh basil leaves [2]
[245 calories per quantity, 61 calories per quarter serving]


1. De-seed the peppers, and cut into lengths about 1.5-2cm thick. Pre-heat a griddle (or you could cook over a BBQ), lightly oil to stop the peppers sticking, and cook until you have a few nice char marks, turning once.

2. Cut the de-seeded tomatoes into slices lengthwise about 1cm thick. Put into a bowl with the peppers and all the other ingredients apart from the basil, and toss together.

3. Wash and shred or tear the basil shortly before serving, and add to the peppers and tomatoes. Best served at room temperature. You could garnish with some toasted pine nuts if you like.


All of these dishes will keep in the fridge quite happily for a few days if you want to prepare in advance and chill. Bring to room temperature before serving. Asparagus and beans may begin to discolour from the lemon juice if keeping, but will still taste good.

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