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This is a Starlight recipe, a delicious Hors D’oeuvre or a brilliant light lunch. The key is to keep the tastes and the four elements separate rather than losing each in a mushy medley. Serves 4 as a starter dish. Go heavy as you like on the herbs and spices and be slight with the vinegar.


  • 1 lb thick sliced mushrooms.
  • ½ cup avocado oil.
  • 1 piled tablespoon thyme.
  • Pinch of chilli flakes.
  • 1 tspoon sea salt.
  • A few grinds black pepper.
  • A pinch of sugar.
  • 1 piled teaspoon each coriander and fennel seeds crushed.
  • 1 star anise crushed.
  • 1 clove elephant garlic grated.
  • 1 handful each fresh cilantro and dill chopped.
  • 1 rib and leaves celery finely grated.
  • 3 tbspoons honey.
  • Juice of ½ Meyer lemon.
  • ¼ scant cup sherry vinegar.
  • Crème fraiche.
  • Multi grain toast.


  1. Mushrooms.

Toss the mushrooms, avocado oil, thyme leaves, chilli flakes, salt, pepper and sugar and then bake in a 500f oven for 30 minutes on a tin foil lined baking pan. Reserve.

  1. Herbs and Spices. Liquidise the spices, garlic, herbs, honey, lemon and sherry vinegar – taste and season lightly – reserve as a thick mixture.
  2. Assemble. Toast one slice per person and serve the warm toast, mushroom stew, herb and spice mix, and tablespoon cold crème fraiche as separate dollops on the plate.

Brilliant with a chilled Chablis, you can prepare the dish well in advance and serve with a sprinkle of chopped cilantro of chives – Greek heaven on a plate.