Matty bowling king oyster mushroom orzotto - fi

After 20 years in business, Brighton’s legendary vegetarian restaurant is still utterly unique. Its reputation for continual innovation is due in part to the enthusiasm and flair of chef Matty Bowling. Under his guidance, Terre à Terre has been runner-up in the Observer Food Monthly’s Best UK Restaurant awards for five years in a row and has won Best Restaurant and Best Family Dining in the Brighton & Hove Food and Drink Awards – well-deserved acclaim for inspired vegetarian dishes that are playful, imaginative and packed with fresh, bold flavours. Here, Matty shares the secrets of how to create one of his stunning dishes. Watch the video and follow the simple, step-by-step instructions to conjure up a vegetarian masterpiece that’s sure to impress your dinner party guests.

Oyster Orzotto

This dish may not sound vegetarian, but fear not – the oysters in question are the mushrooms, not the shellfish!

Serves: 4-6

Recommended Wine: Fiano, Feudo di Santa Tresa, Sicily, Italy 2013 (vegetarian)

Chef’s Tips:

When finishing the pearl barley, add ½ tbsp of lemon olive oil.

Always season and taste as you are cooking.


Almond Soup

100 g blanched almonds
2 garlic cloves
40 ml olive oil
340 ml water
18 ml white wine vinegar
2 g salt

Artichoke Cream

500 g peeled chopped Jerusalem artichoke
½ white onion
2 garlic cloves
260 ml whole milk
25 ml cream
10 g butter

Pearl Barley Risotto

4 shallots (finely chopped)
250 g pearl barley
700 ml vegetable stock
150 ml white wine
½ tsp lemon thyme
Olive oil (for cooking)

Potato Crisps

1 large potato
vegetable oil (for frying)

To Assemble

6 king oyster mushrooms
10 ml olive oil
15 g butter
baby red chard (as garnish)


Almond Soup

  1. Blitz almonds in blender to form a smooth paste.
  2. Add the garlic, olive oil and half the water.
  3. Add the rest of the water in a slow stream until the mixture is smooth, with the consistency of cream.
  4. Add vinegar and seasoning.

Artichoke Cream

  1. Melt butter in pan on low heat.
  2. Add onion and cook for 5 minutes.
  3. Add artichoke and cook for 3 minutes.
  4. Add liquid and garlic, and cook till soft.
  5. Blend in mixer till smooth then taste and season.
  6. Pass sauce through fine sieve.

Pearl Barley Risotto

  1. Cook shallots with olive oil till soft.
  2. Add barley and thyme, and cook for 2 minutes.
  3. Add white wine and cook till liquid is reduced.
  4. Add stock and cook till 90 percent of the liquid is absorbed.
  5. Barley should be just soft to the bite.
  6. To finish the risotto, add artichoke cream a little at a time till you reach the desired consistency.

Potato Crisps

  1. Slice potatoes about ⅛ of an inch thick (a mandoline helps).
  2. Rinse under cold water until water runs clear then drain and pat dry.
  3. Working in 6 batches, deep fry in oil at 160 °C, turning occasionally to cook evenly, until golden brown and crisp, then transfer to a paper towel-lined wire rack.
  4. Season with salt and sumac.

To Assemble

  1. Preheat oven to 180 °C.
  2. Season mushrooms with olive oil, salt and pepper.
  3. Pan fry in butter then finish in oven for 6 minutes, turning once.
  4. Slice into 3 rounds.
  5. Spoon almond milk on plate, place a portion of risotto in the centre and place the 3 rounds of mushroom on top.
  6. Finish with potato crisps and garnish with seasoned baby red chard if available.
Lucy Palmer

Lucy Palmer

Lucy is an ex-TEFL-teacher and keen foodie with a particular fondness for Sicilian seafood. She fancies herself as a bit of a linguist and enjoys delighting/boring her colleagues with language-related trivia. She is an obsessive reader, cyclist and collector of pebbles. Her most memorable experiences include climbing a Mayan pyramid at dawn, working with baby orangutans, and accidentally smashing all the company champagne glasses.

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