Mushroom rarebit

Mushroom rarebit, Frank Camorra.
Mushroom rarebit, Frank Camorra. Photo: Marina Oliphant

Mushrooms are sometimes referred to as meat for vegetarians, but fantastic fungi are so versatile, everyone can enjoy them. On the mushrooms-as-meat theme, I treat big mushrooms like meat and rest them after they are cooked, when they let out some beautiful juices. I then add a little extra virgin olive oil and chopped parsley to the juice, which makes a great dressing.


150g Gruyere or mild cheddar cheese, grated

125ml dark ale

50g breadcrumbs

3 tsp Dijon mustard

2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

100g butter, coarsely chopped

220g field mushrooms, quartered

4 sprigs thyme

Salt and pepper

4 slices sourdough or rye bread

Pinch paprika


Heat a grill on high. For rarebit mixture, put cheese, ale, breadcrumbs, mustard and Worcestershire sauce in a bowl, mix well then season to taste.

Melt butter in a large frying pan over a high heat, add mushrooms and thyme and stir occasionally until mushrooms are golden. Season and set aside.

Meanwhile, place bread slices on an oven tray and toast under the grill, turning once, until golden. Top with mushroom mixture and cover with rarebit mixture; finish with a sprinkle of paprika on top.

Grill on the centre shelf of the oven until golden and melted. Serve with a rocket and watercress salad.