Shio koji mushrooms by Meagan de Bono (Meru Miso)

Shio Koji mushrooms
Serves 2

Mushrooms are naturally high in umami inducing glutamates but the addition of our Shio Koji (or Umami Salt) takes them to the next level. This is a great way to prepare mushrooms for breakfast or before adding them to any other dish that may call for mushrooms like a stroganoff or mushroom soup.

2 tbsp olive oil or a knob of butter
250g cup mushrooms
1 tbsp shio koji (or 1 tbsp umami salt made into a paste using 2 tbsp of water)

Heat a small saucepan over high heat. Add the olive oil or knob of butter and cook the mushrooms until they just start to release their juices. Reduce the heat slightly.

Add the shio koji (or umami salt as a paste) and cook until the shio koji starts to stick to the bottom of the pot and goes a deep caramel colour - about 1 to 2 minutes

Take the saucepan off the heat and put a lid on the pot. The mushrooms will start releasing their juices and this will deglaze the saucepan and eventually make a rich gravy to coat the mushrooms.

After about three minutes, give the mushrooms a stir and scrape all the caramelised shio koji off the base of the saucepan.

Return to a medium heat and cook with the lid off for another five minutes or until the mushrooms are coated in a delicious umami-rich gravy.

These mushrooms are perfect served with scrambled eggs or in an omelette. 

Meagan is co-owner of Meru Miso, for more miso stories you can follow them on Instagram @merumiso

shio koji mushrooms Meagan de Bono.jpg

Baked veggies with haloumi by Sharlee Gibb

Baked veggies & haloumi

MRS We love this as there’s very minimal prep involved but it tastes delicious. Below is a guide for vegetables and amounts but you can really use whatever veggies you already have at home that roasts well and fill up your baking tray. I like to make sure there is a variety of colour and that the veggies are all cut into roughly the same size chunks so that they will cook evenly.

3 all-purpose potatoes
1 sweet potato
1/4 jap or kent pumpkin
1/4 cauliflower, outer leaves removed
1 carrot
1 zucchini
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt flakes
2 garlic cloves, skin on and crushed
1 rosemary sprig
250 g haloumi, cut into thin slices

Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4).

Cut all the veggies into rough 3–5 cm chunks, then throw them into a large ovenproof dish. Drizzle over the oil, add the salt, garlic and rosemary and mix everything together with your hands to ensure the veggies are evenly coated in the oil.

Transfer the dish to the oven and bake for 40 minutes, then lay the haloumi strips over the veggies and bake for a further 15–20 minutes, or until the vegetables are cooked through and the haloumi is crisp and golden. Divide among plates and serve.

Recipe extracted from Mr & Mrs Wilkinson's How it is at Home (Hardie Grant)

 Photo by Patricia Niven

Photo by Patricia Niven

Zucchini fritters by Sharlee Gibb

Zucchini fritters

These are a go-to dish to have on hand in the fridge for filling up lunchboxes or for making quick lunches at home – just add a salad and a dipping sauce and you’re away. They can be varied almost endlessly – the zucchini substituted for other veg like grated carrots or potato, the feta switched for something like haloumi or mozzarella and the mint replaced with any fresh herb you happen to have on hand or growing in the garden. I like to double up the recipe and cook a load, then freeze the excess in batches for a later date.

2 small/medium zucchini, coarsely grated
150 g feta, crumbled
10–12 mint leaves, finely chopped
1 free-range egg, beaten
70 g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons cornflour
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon salt flakes
3–4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
cucumber yoghurt, to serve (see below)

Squeeze out the grated zucchini over the sink to remove any excess moisture, then transfer to a large bowl. Add the feta and mint and mix together well. Stir in the beaten egg, then add the dry ingredients a little at a time, stirring with a fork as you go, until well combined.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add tablespoonfuls of the fritter mixture to the pan to form 3–4 rounds each about 7 cm in diameter. Cook for 3 minutes on each side until lightly golden, then remove from the pan, place on paper towel and cover with a tea towel to keep warm. Repeat with the remaining batter, adding another tablespoon of olive oil to the pan with each batch. Leave the fritters to cool completely before packing up into airtight containers ready for popping into lunchboxes or the fridge, where they will keep for up to 3 days.

We like to serve these with a simple yoghurt and cucumber dip. To make it, stir together 3 tablespoons natural yoghurt, 1 grated Lebanese (short) cucumber, 5 chopped mint leaves and a pinch of salt flakes in a small bowl.

Recipe extract from Mr & Mrs Wilkinson's How it is at Home (Hardie Grant)