Jamie Oliver is driving me batty! In a totally good way.

As much fun as I’ve been having reading Jamie’s Italy, I’m frustrated by the fact that there are so many recipes I won’t be able to try until the bounty of summer fruits and vegetables begins to find its way into our kitchen.

My mouth is positively watering over dishes like eggplant parmigiana that has me longing for the beautiful purple eggplant from our garden. Unfortunately those won’t be here until August and September so I’ll just  have to bide my time.

But I’m such an impatient Cream Puff! Sigh.

To comfort myself, I decided instead to give myself a little present courtesy of Mr. Oliver. Who doesn’t like unwrapping a gift? The drama, the expectation, the excitement as you slowly reveal what’s hidden inside. As soon as I saw Jamie’s recipe for wild mushrooms roasted in a parchment paper sac, I knew I’d have to give it a try. Especially since I’m always looking for new side dishes to serve with meals.

I love mushrooms and was intrigued by the idea of roasting them in a paper packet. Usually we eat our mushrooms sauteed or grilled. Jamie’s recipe calls for wild mushrooms which are combined with a variety of herbs and prosciutto in a parchment sac. A splash of wine is the final touch before the mushrooms go into the oven.

Dscn5184I used a variety of cremini, shiitake and oyster mushrooms for my attempt at the recipe. I brushed off any dirt and kept the mushrooms whole, except for any that were particularly large, which I cut in half. I combined the mushrooms in a bowl and drizzled on lots of extra virgin olive oil. I added sea salt, black pepper and fresh rosemary. While my paper packet wasn’t nearly as neat-looking as Jamie’s, it certainly did the trick. Just before popping it in the oven, I added a splash of cognac to the mushrooms because I’ve always believed (don’t know why) that mushrooms and cognac go very well together.

After about fifteen minutes in the oven, my parchment packet had puffed up a bit (the hot air is trapped in the sac) and I eagerly opened it up to find a gorgeous melange of mushrooms that were cooked perfectly. The aroma of rosemary and the faint hint of cognac made the dish taste as wonderfully as it looked.

I do believe I’ve found something to keep my mind of eggplant parmigiana … for now.


Roasted Mushrooms with Cognac

Adapted from Jamie’s Italy by Jamie Oliver.

Note:  Parchment paper is available in baking shops and also in the baking section of most grocery stores. In addition (or instead of), you can also use thyme and sage to flavour the mushrooms. 

Collage1 This recipe will serve 4.

  • 1 pound of mixed mushrooms (cremini, oyster, shiitake), cleaned with larger mushrooms cut in half
  • 4 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1-1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp. rosemary, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. cognac
  • chopped parsley for garnish
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Combine your mushrooms in a bowl and add the olive oil, making sure that the mushrooms are evenly coated.
  3. Add the salt, pepper and rosemary and mix well.
  4. Take one sheet of parchment paper (it should be roughly 18 x 22 inches in size) and place it on a counter.
  5. Pile the mushroom mixture in the centre of the parchment, flattening the mushrooms slightly so that they’re not mounded too high in the centre. Drizzle on the cognac.
  6. Cover the mushrooms with another sheet of parchment of equal size.
  7. Fold all the ends of the parchment up and in so that a tight seal forms on all sides.
  8. Slide the parchment package onto a baking sheet and then place in the oven.
  9. Bake for 15 minutes and then remove. Open the package (carefully as a lot of steam will be released).
  10. Taste the mushrooms and adjust seasoning.
  11. Place the mushrooms in a bowl and sprinkle on the parsley before serving.
  12. Enjoy!

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