Baked Mushrooms ‘Saint-Jacques’ Style

I love coquilles Saint-Jacques – plump and juicy scallops baked or grilled in their shells, in garlic butter with bacon, parsley and a drizzle of wine, and that lovely breadcrumb top. The flat mushroom is also the perfect vehicle for all of these wonderful flavours – particularly when it’s not scallop season. Look for the largest flat mushrooms you can find. Big portobello mushrooms, which are so juicy and fat, are perfect.

Serves 4
250 g butter, melted gently in a pan
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1⁄4 bunch at-leaf (Italian) parsley, leaves picked and finely chopped
1⁄4 bunch thyme, leaves picked and finely chopped
8 large portobello mushrooms
125 ml white wine
250 g piece speck, cut into batons
120 g fresh breadcrumbs (made from stale sourdough bread – see Note)
lemon cheeks, to serve

Put the warm butter, garlic, parsley, thyme and a pinch of salt in a bowl and mix to combine.
Preheat the oven to 250°C. Line a baking tray with baking paper.

Place the mushrooms, upside down, on the baking tray and remove the stalks. Drizzle each mushroom with a tablespoon of white wine, then scatter with the speck batons. Spoon some of the garlic butter mixture into each mushroom cap. Place the mushrooms in the refrigerator for a few hours – the butter will set on top of the mushrooms and hold everything together.

When you are ready to cook, scatter the mushrooms with the breadcrumbs and bake for 7–10 minutes until the mushrooms are tender and the breadcrumbs are golden and sizzling. Serve with lemon wedges and a
good grinding of black pepper.

Note: To make the fresh breadcrumbs, pop the bread in the freezer until hard, then grate it using a box grater. If you buy toasted breadcrumbs, when you bake your Saint-Jacques mushrooms they will toast too far and may catch and burn, while the fresh will just start to become golden and plump, absorbing all the lovely flavours.

All ingredients available at the Carriageworks Farmers Market every Saturday.