This mushroom roast is the standout recipe of my childhood. Rich and sumptuous thanks to the mushrooms and marmite, and with a little crunch from the onions, it is best eaten in an old fashioned way with veg and gravy, but is also great cut in to wedges as a cold snack the next day. My poor mum had to be creative with her meals when I was a kid as I was the only vegetarian in our family, but this recipe was a winner with all of us, and the taste still makes me feel nostalgic! It is from the lovely Vegetarian Cook Book by Doreen Keighley, which is simple and unpretentious in the way that cookbooks used by our parents seem to be (or am I being nostalgic again?). It was written in 1985 when people looked frightened and cooked you a fried egg if you said you were a vegetarian, so at the time the book must have been quite revolutionary!
Use as little butter as possible (draining it once the mushrooms and onions are fried) and press the ingredients tightly in to the baking dish/loaf tin to help it bind. Don’t worry if the mushroom roast breaks up a bit when it is cooked and you are taking it out of the tin. Mine has never stayed all in one piece but it still tastes great!
Mushroom roast – serves 2 hungry people or 4 as part of a lighter meal
200g mushrooms, chopped small
Large knob of butter
1 onion, finely chopped
150g grated cheddar cheese
90g breadcrumbs (I just blend some slices of bread)
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp marmite
Salt and pepper
Butter your baking dish/loaf tin. Fry the mushrooms and onions in the butter for approx 10 mins. Drain the butter away. To the mushrooms and onions add the grated cheese, breadcrumbs, marmite, beaten egg, salt and pepper, and mix. Place the mixture in a greased baking dish/loaf tin, pressing it tightly together. Bake at 190 degrees/gas mark 5 for approx 35 mins, until nicely brown. Leave to cool for 10 mins before getting it out. Don’t worry if it falls apart a little! Delicious served with veg and gravy or cut in to wedges and eaten cold the next day.