I recently received a copy of Ottolenghi’s new cookbook Flavour, and have been poring over the delicious recipes and photography since. I chose to make his Portobello mushroom steaks with butter bean mash recipe because its flavoured with chipotle and I couldn’t resist. Chipotle in adobo is a favourite condiment and I make my own. I loved the sound of everything going on in this dish and it blew me away.

Ottolenghi's mushroom steaks with butter bean mash

Flavour is Ottolenghi’s third vegetarian cookbook so is in essence Plenty 3. He has collaborated with Ixta Belfrage who is of Mexican descent, so many of the recipes are peppered with South American flavour influences. The book, like all his books, seeks to reimagine recipes with the vegetable at the front and centre. Just when you thought there were only so many ways to cook a cauliflower, along comes Ottolenghi with another handful of delicious ideas.

There are 20 flavour ingredients listed at the front of the book. Ottolenghi’s approach has always been to put flavour first and ahead of any particular eating philosophy. He thinks it’s better to inspire a meat-eating population to eat more vegetables than to get them to quit eating it completely. Of the over 100 recipes in Flavour, 45 are strictly vegan and another 17 can be easily ‘veganised. The rest will be vegetarian (ovo lacto).

Ottolenghi's mushroom steaks with butter bean mash recipe

The only downside for us South Africans is that quite a few ingredients are not easily available here. Like Aleppo style pepper and chipotles. I am mildly obsessed with Mexican cuisine so I have chipotles smuggled in via travelling friends and make my own adobo, but if you look a little deeper you will find these ingredients. Check out my list of the best food shops in Cape Town or send me a DM if you are looking for anything in particular. I know a few stockists of Mexican ingredients. Like with all things in cooking, the quality of the ingredients make a dish, however, as much as I would have loved to source Brindisa Navarrico jarred butter beans, it would be impossible, so a can of Koo worked just fine. In fact, I was so blown away by butter bean mash, I might even prefer it to regular mash and given that it takes about 3 minutes to make, I plan to be tossing a can of beans into my small food processor a lot in the future.

This book explores creating flavour beyond the ingredients itself and looks at achieving this via the process of cooking. Applying smoke and char through fire, browning, infusing and ageing food all deliver incredible results and can turn a vegetable into something completely different and special. Balancing the sweet with the acid and the salt is all covered between these pages and this is a book that is as intellectual as it is about delicious recipes. I would say its geared for the more advanced home cook, but anyone with a bit of food geek in them will love it too.

A cool feature of Ottolenghi’s recent books is it comes with a unique code that gives you a digital copy of the book too, so you can load it on your iPad and have it wherever you go.

Ottolenghi's mushroom steaks with butter bean mash

Back to the recipe I made …..

I wanted to do half the recipe as I live alone and when I got to make it some of the quantities seemed extreme so I altered a few of the ratios. I’ve included his recipe for the full 8 mushrooms or my version for 4 (with my steaks). Only after I sat down to write this up and reread the intro did I see his comment about the excess oil in the recipe. The idea is to save it for later use and drizzle over other things. I reduced the quantities of the olive oil and two of the spices and subbed chipotle in adobo sauce for the chipotle flakes because we don’t get them in South Africa. My chipotle in adobo sauce is spicy enough so I left off the fresh chilli too.

Ottolenghi's mushroom steaks with butter bean mash recipe

My adaptation of the recipe for 2: (I’ve included my comments in the brackets in the method)

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Ottolenghi’s mushroom steaks with butter bean mash

Ottolenghi's mushroom steaks with butter bean mash recipe

A slight adaptation of Yotam Ottolenghi’s recipe for portobello mushroom steaks with butter bean mash from his cookbook Flavour. 

  • Author: Sam Linsell
Scale

Ingredients

Mushroom steaks:

4 medium to large portobello mushrooms (the biggest you can find)

4 garlic cloves, peeled

½ onion, peeled and cut into 6 wedges (75g)

2 Tbsp chipotle in adobo sauce (1 x chopped chilli and 1 Tbsp sauce)

1 1/2 tsp cumin seeds, roughly crushed in a pestle and mortar

1 1/2 tsp coriander seeds, roughly crushed in a pestle and mortar

1 tbsp tomato paste

125ml – 150ml olive oil

Butterbean mash:

1 x 400gm tin of butter beans

Juice of half a lemon (about 1 Tbsp)

1Tbsp olive oil

Salt & pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 150°C fan.
  2. Put all the ingredients for the steaks and 1 teaspoon of flaked salt into a large ovenproof saucepan, for which you have a lid (I tossed everything together to get the mushrooms coated). 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 (I only cooked them for about 10 minutes as they were very well-cooked at this time), 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.
  3. Use a spoon to remove the onion, garlic and chilli (discarding the stem) – don’t worry if you scoop up some of the spices and oil. Put them into the small bowl of a 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.
  4. While the mushrooms are cooking, make the mash by putting the beans into a food processor along with the lemon juice, olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon flaked salt and 2 tablespoons of water. Blitz until completely smooth. Transfer to a medium saucepan and cook on medium-high heat for about 3 minutes, stirring, until warmed through (I just popped it in the microwave for 2 minutes).
  5. To serve, divide the butter bean mash between four plates. Top with four mushroom halves per plate and spoon over a generous amount of the oil and its accompanying aromatics (you won’t need all of it, though – see intro).

Keywords: Mushrooms steak, chipotle, Ottolenghi, butter bean mash, Flavour, Cookbook, vegan, vegetarian

 

This is Ottolenghi’s full recipe form his book Flavour.

Ottolenghi’s mushroom steaks and butter bean mash 

We’re not mad about calling vegetables a ‘steak’ or ‘burger’ or ‘schnitzel’, because it feels like you are trying to pass them off as something else, something superior. Vegetables are great simply as they are. In fact, they are
the best! Sometimes, though, using a meaty name helps you understand what’s going on and how delicious it is. Our portobellos aren’t trying to be a steak, they are simply as good as any steak (with mash), if not better; in just the same way as our Romano pepper schnitzels (p. 146) are as delectable as any other schnitzel. What gives the mushrooms their verve is the chillies and spices and all the flavoured oil that coats them. You’ll make more oil than you need here; keep it refrigerated in a sealed container to spoon over grilled vegetables, noodles, meat or fish. Serve this with some sautéed greens, if you like.

PORTOBELLO STEAKS

8 medium to large portobello mushrooms (about 650g), stems removed

10 garlic cloves, peeled 1 onion, peeled and cut into 6 wedges (150g)

11?2 tbsp chipotle chilli flakes

1 red chilli (15g)
4 tsp cumin seeds,

roughly crushed in a

pestle and mortar

1 tbsp coriander seeds,

roughly crushed in a

pestle and mortar

2 tbsp tomato paste 400ml olive oil

BUTTER BEAN MASH

1 × 700g jar of good- quality cooked large butter beans, drained (500g) (we use Brindisa Navarrico large butter beans, but you can, of course, use tinned or cook your own)

11?2 tbsp lemon juice 1 tbsp olive oil flaked sea salt

Preheat the oven to 150°C fan.

Put all the ingredients for the steaks and 1 tablespoon of flaked salt into a large ovenproof saucepan, for which you have a lid. 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.

Use a spoon to remove the onion, garlic and chilli (discarding the stem) – don’t worry if you scoop up some of the spices and oil. Put them into the small bowl of a 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.

While the mushrooms are cooking, make the mash by putting the beans into a food processor along with the lemon juice, olive oil, 1?2 teaspoon flaked salt and 2 tablespoons of water. Blitz until completely smooth. Transfer to
a medium saucepan and cook on medium-high heat for about 3 minutes, stirring, until warmed through.

To serve, divide the butter bean mash between four plates. Top with four mushroom halves per plate and spoon over a generous amount of the oil and its accompanying aromatics (you won’t need all of it, though – see intro).

 

Flavour is published by Ebury Press and available in all good bookshops

How to make chipotle in adobo sauce

The famous hummus recipe by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi

Yotam Ottolenghi’s cauliflower cake

Louise cake with plum and coconut (From Ottolenghi’s Sweet)

Roasted pumpkin with chilli yoghurt and coriander seeds

 

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2 Comments

  1. I’m not surprised this is another fabulous cookbook. But I’m glad Mr. O is going beyond Middle eastern dishes. Check on amazon for ground chipotle powder, and also chipotle paste in tubes. I bet you can find it.

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