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Cook this: Portobello steaks and butter bean mash from Ottolenghi Flavor

Our cookbook of the week is Ottolenghi Flavor by Yotam Ottolenghi and Ixta Belfrage. Over the next two days, we’ll feature another recipe from the book and an interview with the authors.

To try another recipe from the book, check out: Roasted and pickled celery root with sweet chili dressing .

Broccoli with mushroom ketchup and nori, spicy mushroom lasagna, noodle salad with mushroom and peanut laab, confit garlic hummus with grilled mushrooms, brown rice and shiitake congee, and oyster mushroom tacos — there’s plenty of inspiration for mushroom lovers in Ottolenghi Flavor .

In the following recipe, Yotam Ottolenghi and Ixta Belfrage associate portobellos with steak. Not because the mushrooms are masquerading as beef, but because occasionally, “using a meaty name helps you understand what’s going on and how delicious it is.”

Substantial and intensely savoury, these portobellos get their personality from the heat of fresh and dried chilies. Slow-roasted with aromatics (garlic, onion), chipotle flakes, red chili, cumin and coriander seeds, tomato paste and olive oil, the resulting sauce is spooned over the butter bean mash.

“It shows you how much umaminess comes out of the slow-cooking of the mushrooms,” says Ottolenghi. “If anyone is looking for something that would be a satisfying main course for vegetarians, this is the one. It’s just so full of flavour.”

You’ll be left with plenty of extra oil, which the authors recommend drizzling over fish, meat, noodles or grilled vegetables. (The oil will last in the fridge for up to two weeks.)


Portobello steaks:
8 medium to large portobello mushrooms (about 1 lb 7 oz/650 g), stems removed
10 garlic cloves, peeled
1 onion, peeled and cut into 6 wedges (1 cup/150 g)
4 1/2 tsp chipotle flakes (or 1–2 whole chipotle chili, minced to yield 4 1/2 tsp)
1 red chili
4 tsp cumin seeds, roughly crushed in a mortar and pestle
1 tbsp coriander seeds, roughly crushed in a mortar and pestle
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 2/3 cups (400 mL) olive oil
1 tbsp flaked sea salt

Butter bean mash:
1 × 1 lb 9 oz (700 g) jar good-quality large butter beans, drained (2 2/3 cups/500 g; Brindisa Navarrico large butter beans or cook your own)
4 1/2 tsp lemon juice
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp water
1/2 tsp flaked sea salt

Step 1

For the steaks: Preheat the oven to 350°F (150°C fan).

Step 2

In a large ovenproof saucepan, for which you have a lid, combine the mushrooms, garlic, onion, chili flakes, red chili, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, tomato paste, olive oil and salt and stir to mix. Arrange the mushrooms so they are domed-side up, then top with a piece of parchment paper, pushing it down to cover all the ingredients. Cover with the lid, then transfer to the oven for 1 hour. Turn the mushrooms over, replacing the paper and lid, and return to the oven for 20 minutes more, or until the mushrooms are very tender but not falling apart. Use a pair of tongs to transfer the mushrooms to a chopping board, then cut them in half and set aside.

Step 3

Reserving the oil, use a spoon to transfer the onion, garlic and chili (discarding the stem; don’t worry if you scoop up some of the spices and oil) into the bowl of a small food processor and blitz until smooth. Return the blitzed onion mixture to the saucepan, along with the mushroom halves, and place on medium-high heat. Cook for about 5 minutes, for all the flavours to come together.

Step 4

For the mash: While the mushrooms are cooking, put the beans into a food processor along with the lemon juice, olive oil, water and salt. Blitz until completely smooth. Transfer to a medium saucepan and cook on medium-high heat for about 3 minutes, stirring, until warmed through.

Step 5

Divide the mash among four plates. Top with four mushroom halves per plate and spoon in a generous amount of the reserved oil and its accompanying aromatics (you won’t need all of it, though). Serve at once.

Serves: four as a main

Recipe and image excerpted from Ottolenghi Flavor by Yotam Ottolenghi and Ixta Belfrage. Text copyright © 2020 Yotam Ottolenghi and Ixta Belfrage. Photographs copyright © 2020 by Jonathan Lovekin, except page 211 © 2020 by Louise Hagger. Illustrations copyright © 2020 by Nishant Choksi. Published by Appetite by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.

Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2020

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