Autumn at the markets and a feast for two

There is so much pleasure in discovering the offerings of each season. Our local Saturday organic market was piled high with beautiful bright orange and creamy soft tan colored pumpkins, deep purple beetroot fresh from the ground with a dusting of earth, frilly green lettuces and glossy brown chestnuts.

While it was hard to make a selection from all of the delicious new season fruits and vegetables which were artfully placed by each stall keeper, some lovely latte colored Swiss brown mushrooms were the first beauties to catch my eye. Next, were a bucket of soft pinkish red and bright green streaked fuji apples and possibly the plumpest, bright green figs I have ever seen. I had never tried white Adriatic figs before - and they certainly didn't disappoint. They were sweet, but not overly so, with a lush pomegranate colored inside, with glistening little seeds that looked like jewels. Strolling past each stall was like walking through a living, breathing Margaret Olley still life.

And then we came to the cheese. Oh the cheese. What a discovery!! The range of sheep and goats cheeses from The Leaning Oak was substantial and each individual cheese was absolutely stunning. I was happily dragged away from the stall, clutching a tub of fresh white honey goat. Along with those beautiful plump, juicy figs this was to be the dessert for our 'earth hour' feast for two.

And what of those Swiss brown mushrooms? With thoughts of our upcoming trip to Italy, only a few months away, the Swiss brown lovelies had to be Tuscany in a bowl. The classic risotto al fungi, with just a judicious dash of truffle oil completed our delicious Autumn feast for two.

Mushroom risotto with white truffle oil
1 litre of vegetable stock
100g butter
3 tablespoons olive oil
500g Swiss brown mushrooms, sliced
Small handful of dried porcini mushrooms, soaked and finely chopped
1 onion finely chopped
250g risotto rice
White pepper
White Truffle oil to serve
1. Pour stock into a pan and bring to the boil. In a separate pan, add one third of the butter with 1 tablespoon of the oil and allow to melt. Add the Swiss brown mushrooms and porcini and cook until softened. Remove from pan and set aside.
2. In the pan add one third of butter and 1 tablespoon of the oil and melt. Add chopped onion and gently fry until translucent. Add the rice ans stir until all grains are covered in the oil. Then add stock one ladel at a time until rice has absorbed all the stock and rice is al dente.
3. Carefully stir in about one half of the mushrooms and remaining butter to the risotto.
4. Place the risotto in serving bowls and top with remaining mushrooms and a dash of white truffle oil.


  1. Ahhhh, I went to a Canberra restaurant on the weekend and ordered that exact dish but was met with a plate of watery mush with uncooked mushrooms in it and way too much truffle- you can cook for me any time!! Yum

    1. Oh no, what a disaster!! Got to be so careful with that truffle oil. I'll swap you a mushroom risotto for a taste of the home made brie!!


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Maira Gall