Chef's Recipes

Grant Achatz's roast mushrooms with caramelised fennel, onions, eggs and dates

This deconstructed mushroom, onion and fennel omelette is made to be a side for braised lamb shoulder.

By Grant Achatz
  • Serves 8
  • 15 mins preparation
  • 25 mins cooking plus standing
Grant Achatz's roast mushrooms with caramelised fennel, onions, eggs and dates
Grant Achatz's roast mushrooms with caramelised fennel, onions, eggs and dates

"This dish is made to be a side for the braised lamb," says Achatz. "The dates pair with the dark cocoa notes in the main dish, and the aromatic cardamom-date combination takes it to the Middle Eastern cooking of tagines and curries. But really what you have is a deconstructed mushroom, onion and fennel omelette."

Ingredients

  • 4 fennel bulbs
  • 75 ml grapeseed oil
  • 1.5 kg mixed mushrooms, such as shiitake, Swiss brown, maitake and oyster, cleaned, halved, quartered or whole, depending on size
  • 2 onions, each cut into sixths
  • 75 gm butter, diced
  • 20 gm thyme sprigs
  • 5 garlic cloves, finely grated
  • 80 ml white vinegar (1/3 cup)
  • 8 eggs
  • Finely chopped chives, to serve
Date vinaigrette
  • 70 gm medjool dates, pitted
  • 60 ml sherry vinegar (¼ cup)
  • 2 tbsp grapeseed oil

Method

Main
  • 1
    For date vinaigrette, blend ingredients with 80ml water and ½ tsp sea salt in a blender on high speed until very smooth (4-5 minutes). Thin to drizzling consistency with a little extra water if necessary and season to taste. Vinaigrette will keep refrigerated for up to 5 days.
  • 2
    Preheat oven to 175C. Trim the fronds from 3 fennel bulbs and reserve, then quarter the bulbs. Heat a roasting pan or very large sauté pan over medium-high heat, add oil, mushrooms, onion and fennel quarters, and cook without stirring for 3 minutes. Gently stir once and cook for another 3 minutes. Add butter, thyme and garlic, transfer to oven and cook, stirring twice, until mushrooms are just tender but with a little bite (8-10 minutes). Season to taste and keep warm.
  • 3
    Shave remaining fennel bulb on a mandolin and place in acidulated water (see note) to crisp.
  • 4
    Meanwhile, bring vinegar, 5 litres water and 2 tsp salt to a simmer in a large saucepan, stir vigorously to create a whirlpool, then crack eggs into the swirling water. Turn off heat, cover with a lid and stand for 6 minutes, then remove the eggs with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
  • 5
    Transfer roasted mushrooms to a large serving dish, nestle eggs on top, drizzle with a little date vinaigrette, top with shaved fennel, season to taste, then scatter with fennel fronds and chives, and serve with remaining date vinaigrette.

Notes

For acidulated water, add juice of half a lemon to 1 cup of water.