It's March; the season has arrived for wild mushrooms, which can be found in certain areas, often forests, after rain. Never pick mushrooms alone. You must go with an expert who can identify edible types. Some of the most poisonous look very similar to those we commonly eat. The two main wild types picked in Australia are pine mushrooms and slippery jacks. They are sold at most produce stores and farmers' markets. The mushrooms used in this recipes are available at most greengrocers.
60ml olive oil
500g small portobello mushrooms
1 tbsp thyme leaves, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed with salt on a cutting board
2 tbsp sherry vinegar
Preheat oven to 240C. Heat olive oil in a large, heavy, ovenproof frypan. When oil is hot, add mushrooms, skin-side down, and cook without turning for 5 minutes so caps are well browned. Season with salt.
Cut butter into small pieces and add to frying pan with thyme and garlic. Toss mushrooms around the pan, coating them in butter.
Put pan in the oven and roast mushrooms for 4 minutes. Remove from oven, toss mushrooms and return to the oven for another 4 minutes. Return to stovetop and cook briefly over high heat. This process of roasting and frying ensures the butter, herbs and garlic cook into the mushrooms, enriching the flavour.
Add sherry vinegar, season and cook for a minute to reduce. When ready to eat, tilt frying pan to drain liquid to one side, to avoid serving mushrooms with too much oil. They go well with any grilled red meat, or with a quiche and salad.