Autumn, Winter, Main

Mushroom, Pickled Walnut and Ale Cobbler

Paid partnership with Opies Foods

Pickled walnuts are a quintessential British food, with a much-loved following, me included.

If you haven‘t tried them before than you might be surprised to know they are not hard and crunchy like you might expect from a regular walnut, but have a soft firmness to the texture, with an earthy richness and dark and tangy liquor that is sweet and lightly spiced.

These qualities make for a very versatile cooking ingredient, that‘s not just for cheese and charcuterie, but are such tasty and surprising additions to pies, stews, quiches and salads. The spiced vinegar adds a great depth to dressings, sauces and gravies. This also means you can easily make use of the whole jar.

Pickled Walnuts are the unsung hero in my Mushroom & Ale Cobbler, adding a rich umami depth of flavour that can sometimes be lacking in vegan cooking.

Opies Pickled Walnuts can be found in all major supermarkets in the pickle aisle and cost around £3 a jar.

For more exciting ways to use them head over to @opiesfoods on Facebook or Instagram, or follow this link to their website

40 minutes

30 minutes




2 tbs light oil

700g baby or regular chestnut mushrooms

1 onion diced

3 garlic cloves crushed

40g porcini mushrooms

200ml ale

2 bay leaves

A few sprigs of thyme

3 tbs plain flour

2 tsp marmite

2 tsp tamari sauce

2-3 Opies pickled walnuts roughly chopped

1 veggie stock pot or stock cube

Lots of freshly ground black pepper

Cobbler Topping

350g self raising flour

200g chilled plant based butter

2 tsp mustard powder

3 tbs mixed chopped herbs, parsley, chives, thyme, dill or rosemary will all work

1 pickled walnut finely chopped (optional)

1 tsp sea salt

Juice 1 lemon

2-4 tbs cold water

Bay leaves


  1. Add the porcini to a bowl and cover with 500ml of boiling water and set aside.
  2. In a large deep sided frying pan, add the oil and onions and Sautee until soft and translucent. Add in the bay leaves, thyme and mushrooms. Halve or quarter any large ones.
  3. Cook on medium to high until a little browned and beginning to soften, reduce the heat and add the garlic and cook for a further minute.
  4. Add in the flour and stir to coat the mushrooms, turn the heat up a little and add the Ale, it should bubble a little, de glaze the pan and thicken to coat the mushrooms.
  5. Now drain the porcini through a sieve into a jug and add the liquor to the mushrooms. Stir to combine and allow to come to a boil and the reduce the heat to a low simmer.
  6. Stir in the marmite and tamari, add lots of freshly ground black pepper and the stock pot or cube.
  7. Finally, roughly chop the porcini and them to the mushrooms along with the chopped pickled walnuts. Stir to combine and taste for seasoning.
  8. Pre heat the oven to 180°C Fan.
  9. Whilst the mushrooms are simmer very gentle make the cobbler topping.
  10. Combine the flour, herbs, mustard powder and salt in a bowl.
  11. Chop the butter into cubes and rub the mixture together to form lumpy breadcrumbs.
  12. Make a well in the centre and add the lemon juice, chopped walnut and 2 tbs cold water, carefully bring dough together until it forms a ball, do not over mix. Add more water if needed.
  13. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and roll out to roughly 2 cm thick, cut into rounds and bring the leftover dough back together and repeat until you have 8 rounds. Set aside.
  14. Check the mushrooms for seasoning and empty into a baking dish, top with the cobbler topping and place bay leaves between each biscuit.
  15. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the biscuit topping has risen and is lightly golden, the mushrooms will also be bubbling.
  16. Serve with your choice of vegetables and maybe some boiled or mashed potatoes.

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