Recreate this wild mushrooms and horseradish labneh on toast, then check out our veggie sausage, spinach and mushroom fry with pesto toast, rarebit mushrooms with pickle dressing and more mushroom recipes.

Rosie says, "In the burnished depths of the end of autumn, the kitchen becomes my retreat: a place I long to get back to by the end of a frosty walk or rainy dash for errands. While just a matter of months ago, its doors were flung open to welcome the breeze and sunshine – its oven and hobs neglected in favour of a barbecue or picnic blanket – now it’s the glowing hearth of the house, its windows fugged up with steam, its creaky wooden door failing to contain the sumptuous smells wafting from simmering pots. This time of year means comfort food and, for me, there’s nothing more comforting than mushrooms on toast, a dish that has its roots in a very special, sepia-tinged memory from my childhood.

There was a period of a few years, before I got too distracted by Nintendo and Saturday morning telly, when I used to go out with my dad in the very early, misty autumn mornings to hunt out the delicious field mushrooms that grew near our house. I remember that we used to get up while it was still dark – which I hated – pull on wellies and waterproofs, and rustle down the country lane by torchlight, clambering over a rickety stile and wading up a steep hill, skirting the statuesque horses that could get feisty if you got too close.

My dad could be obsessive – hence the early starts “to beat the flies” – and I’m not sure how but he always knew where to find the best mushrooms: near big, old trees, often in danger (the mushrooms, that is) of being trampled by sheep. Perhaps it was down to his frugal, postwar childhood in rural Kent, the youngest son of a widowed mother, who counted scrumping for apples and foraging for cobnuts among his hobbies, but he had a real nose for a good mushroom patch.

I remember one time we really cleaned up and came home with a carrier bag full of plump, damp mushrooms, flecked and fragrant with grass and rotten leaves, which my dad carefully cleaned, then fried in sizzling slicks of butter before piling them onto hot toast. When I put the warm, buttery toast to my lips, the crunch of the bread and the savoury squish of the mushrooms was a revelation. I was in heaven and, to this day, mushrooms on toast is a dish I make religiously. It reminds me of my dear dad – it’s my Proustian madeleine – and it’s something I’ve served at many a pop-up or dinner, reimagined in different ways. This version introduces a cooling swoosh of fresh labneh shot through with fiery horseradish, and it makes a wonderful light lunch or starter for an autumnal gathering."



  • 500g full-fat natural yogurt
  • lemon juice, plus extra to taste
  • handful of dill, leaves picked and finely chopped
  • 1 tsp hot creamed horseradish


  • 1 tsp rapeseed oil
  • 300g mixed mushrooms (wild, or a mixture of chestnut, oyster, shiitake and portobello), picked through and cleaned
  • 20g unsalted butter
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 tsp finely chopped tarragon or flat-leaf parsley leaves, plus extra to garnish


  • 2 thick sourdough slices, toasted


  • STEP 1

    To make the labneh, combine the yogurt and ½ tsp of salt with a squeeze of lemon juice in a bowl, and mix well. Line a sieve with clean muslin, a dish cloth or a few sheets of kitchen paper, and set over a separate bowl. Spoon in the yogurt and pull the overhanging cloth up, twisting it a couple of times to tighten it and enclose the yogurt – you’ll see the whey starting to drip out. Give it a few more twists to apply some pressure, then leave to drain in the fridge for at least 3 hrs or ideally overnight. The longer you leave it, the firmer the labneh will be. When you’re happy with your labneh, remove it from the fridge and stir in the dill and horseradish, then taste and adjust with a little more of either, depending on how you like it. Set aside until needed.

  • STEP 2

    Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium-high heat and, once hot, fry the mushrooms with a pinch of salt and some freshly ground black pepper for a few minutes until caramelising and starting to lose their moisture – you’ll want a good amount of colour on them. Reduce the heat slightly and add the butter and garlic, basting the mushrooms in the garlicky butter. Add the herbs and a squeeze of lemon juice, cooking for a couple of minutes more.

  • STEP 3

    Spread the labneh generously onto the toasts, and top with the mushrooms and more herbs. You’ll have left-over labneh but it will keep chilled for up to two weeks.

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