TAKE YOUR PICK: Theres more mushrooms to choose from than you think.

Last month the world celebrated World Heart Day.

This is especially significant for South Africans, who have one of the highest blood pressure rates in the world, which is the leading cause of heart attacks. One way to maintain healthy blood cholesterol levels, is to eat mushrooms. The South African Mushroom Farmers' Association shared some recipes, which include the humble vegetable, with Kamcilla Pillay.

Mushroom and potato bake

Prep time: 15 min

Cook time: 1hr 10 min

Serves 2


2 tsp olive oil

3 large potatoes

225g white button mushrooms & 225g portabellini, chopped

2 tsp dried herbs

2 garlic cloves, crushed

250 ml (1 cup) low fat cream

15 ml (1 tablespoon) corn flour or cake flour

Salt and pepper to taste


Preheat the oven to 180 ºC, coat an oven proof dish well with the olive oil, butter or non-stick spray.

Peel the potatoes and cook for 20 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool down.

Thinly slice the potatoes and layer a quarter of the slices in the base of the baking dish. Season with salt and pepper and dot with bits of butter.

Arrange a quarter of the sliced mushrooms on top of the potatoes. Sprinkle with some of the herbs, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper.

Repeat the layering in the same order, finishing with a layer of potatoes.


Mushroom risotto

Prep time: 10 min

Cook time: 40 min

Serves 4


2 tsp. olive oil

1 small onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, crushed

25g (1 punnet) white button mushrooms or portabellinis

1 cup vegetable stock

1 cup risotto rice

Fresh parsley (handful)

2 Tbs. margarine

2 tsp parmesan cheese


Soak the mushrooms in hot water for 10 minutes, then drain well. Heat the oil in a large, heavy based saucepan and add the onion and garlic. Fry over a gentle heat for 2-3 minutes, until softened. Add the mushrooms and fry for a further 2-3 minutes, until browned.

Stir in the rice and coat in the oil. Add a ladleful of the stock and simmer, stirring again, until the liquid has been absorbed. Continue adding the stock in this way, until all the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is plump and tender.

Roughly chop the soaked mushrooms and stir into the risotto, along with the parsley and margarine. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan.


Roasted mushroom medley

Prep time: 15 min

Cook time: approx 40 min

Serves 2


225g (1 punnet) halved, white button mushrooms

250g (1 small punnet) wedged, portabello mushrooms

¼ cup olive oil

2 garlic cloves, chopped

Salt and pepper

1 can chopped tomatoes

1 Tbs. dried herbs of choice or fresh herbs

1 Tbs. balsamic vinegar


Preheat oven to 180 degrees C

Mix olive oil with garlic, herbs and seasoning in an oven proof dish

Add mushrooms and mix well coating the mushrooms with flavored oil.

Roast for until cooked through and nicely golden brown, add chopped tomatoes and cook through.

Remove from heat, and drizzle with balsamic vinegar (optional).


Mushroom with chickpeas curry


Prep time: 10 min

Cooking time: 15 min


One onion, finely sliced

1 tsp olive oil

½ tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground cumin or curry powder

250g white button mushrooms, quartered

1 can chopped tomatoes or 3 fresh tomatoes, finely chopped

1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1 tsp honey (optional)

A handful flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped


Fry the onion in the oil until softened. Add spices and cook for 1 min, stirring. Add the mushrooms, cook for 2 mins, then stir in the tomatoes, chickpeas and honey. Season and simmer for at least 7-8 mins or until the curry is thickened.

Best served warm.


Mushroom hot pot

Prep time: 15 min

Cook time: 30 min

Serves 2


4 baby potatoes, peeled and halved or 2 big potatoes cut in wedges

2 carrots, peeled and sliced

225g (1 small punnet) portabellini mushrooms, thickly sliced

1 large onion, chopped

1 red pepper, chopped

2 cloves garlic, crushed (optional)

15ml fresh ginger, finely grated

1-2 small red chillies, finely sliced (optional)

½ cup snap peas or peas

½ cup cherry tomatoes or 1 tomato cut in wedges

225g (1 small punnet) white button mushrooms

1 can chopped tomatoes

1 cup vegetable stock (1 chicken or vegetable stock cube)

30ml fresh chopped herbs such as parsley, coriander and mint (optional)


Layer the potatoes, carrots, brown mushrooms, onion, red pepper, garlic, ginger and chilli, mange tout, cherry tomatoes, white button mushrooms in the pot / potjie or even a steam cook pot (in this order), season with salt and pepper after every layer.

Add the tinned tomatoes and the vegetable stock. Cover and simmer slowly for approximately 30 minutes until the vegetables are tender. Scatter the fresh herbs over the top.