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What’s cooking today: Loaded breakfast mushrooms



What’s cooking today: Loaded breakfast mushrooms

Tony Jackman’s big brown mushroom loaded with potato, bacon, caramelised shallots and tomato smoor, served in a Mervyn Gers Ceramics bowl. (Photo: Tony Jackman)

Life is too short to stuff a mushroom, Shirley Conran wrote in Superwoman. But life is too short not to load one or two of them up for a breakfast worth writing home about.

Leftover potatoes. They’re one of my favourite things. When I’m cooking potatoes for supper I sometimes do too many, on purpose, so that I can have some left over to add to breakfast the next morning.

A whole cooked potato can be sliced into thin scallops and fried in butter and a dash of olive oil with salt, black pepper and thyme for a splendid addition to the breakfast plate. I do that. A lot. Or added to a one-pan omelette with caramelised onion, plenty of cheese and finished in the oven.

But here’s another way to use up those leftover cooked potatoes. Dice them, fry them, and pile them on to big brown mushrooms with plenty of other stuff. Here’s the way I did them last Saturday, served on wilted spinach.

The quantities I’m giving are per mushroom/per serving, so multiply depending on how many you’re feeding.


1 big brown mushroom

1 medium leftover cooked potato

2 rashers of bacon, diced

2 cups shredded spinach

Squeeze of lemon juice

Garlic salt to taste

2 Tbsp crumbled or diced feta

1 x 400 g can chopped tomatoes

1 or 2 shallots, sliced lengthwise (or use red onion)

1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 Tbsp picked thyme leaves

Black pepper



Cut the choke out from the mushroom and discard. You need the space for the filling.

Fry the mushrooms in butter on top and bottom until well browned, seasoning them with salt and black pepper, otherwise they will not cook through in the oven. Remove them to a greased oven pan.

Pour the chopped tomatoes into a small pot and cook on a high heat until reduced by about half. Stir in balsamic vinegar and thyme, add salt and black pepper, and cook for another minute or two. (A can of tomatoes will be too much for one portion, but you can use what’s left over for all sorts of other things, and also spoon some on the mushrooms when serving.)

Wilt the spinach with lemon juice in a hint of oil over a high heat with a little lemon juice, garlic salt and black pepper.

Dice the bacon and fry until golden.

Sauté the diced potatoes in butter, with thyme leaves, until golden. Season with salt and black pepper.

Caramelise shallots in butter with thyme until soft and golden, with a splash of balsamic and black pepper.

Pile the ingredients on the mushrooms in this order: tomato smoor, potatoes, shallots, bacon, crumbled feta.

Cook in a preheated very hot oven (220℃ or more) until the feta has started melting into the goodies below it.

Serve on wilted spinach, with some extra smoor on the side or on top. DM/TGIFood

Tony Jackman is Galliova Food Champion 2021. His book, foodSTUFF, is available in the DM Shop. Buy it here

Mervyn Gers Ceramics supplies dinnerware for the styling of some TGIFood shoots. For more information, click here.

Follow Tony Jackman on Instagram @tony_jackman_cooks. Share your versions of his recipes with him on Instagram and he’ll see them and respond.

SUBSCRIBE to TGIFood here. Also visit the TGIFood platform, a repository of all of our food writing.


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