Cookery Courses

View our range of short and long Bath-based vegetarian and vegan cookery courses running throughout the year.

View cookery courses

Gift Vouchers

Buy gift vouchers for our vegetarian and vegan cooking courses in our online shop.

Buy a gift voucher today


Mushroom Ragout with Polenta

Mushrooms are an autumn highlight here at the cookery school and a hallmark of some of our best vegetable dishes. From mushroom pie to mushroom pate, mushrooms add that unmistakeable umami and "meatiness" that make a meal satisfying. Any variety of edible mushroom species can be used to make this mushroom ragout. If you go for any of the more "delicate" varieties such as oyster mushrooms, add them with the porcini to prevent disintegration.

Mushroom Autumnal Ragout

Serves: 2/4

Dietary: Gluten free, Vegan option


  • 5g dried porcini mushrooms
  • 100ml boiling water
  • 2 tbsps olive oil
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 sage leaves
  • 4 generous sprigs of thyme
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 500g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
  • 250g mixed wild mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 tsp cornflour
  • 1 tbsp tamari
  • 100ml Madeira or sherry
  • handful of fresh tarragon, chopped
  • Crème fraîche or soya creme


  1. Re-hydrate the porcini mushrooms in 100 ml of boiling water for 30 minutes.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan and gently fry the red onion with the bay leaves, sage and thyme until soft.
  3. Add the garlic and balsamic vinegar and stir for a few moments. Add the mushrooms and stir-fry for a few minutes until they have changed colour and the liquid they produce has reduced.
  4. Mix the cornflour to a paste with the tamari and stir into the mushrooms. Slice the porcini mushrooms and add with the liquid that they had been re-hydrated in. Lastly add the Madeira or sherry.
  5. Cook until the mushrooms are tender and the liquid has reduced a little.
  6. Season with lots of fresh ground black pepper. Add crème fraîche or soya creme
  7. Serve with polenta, potato mash, pasta or to top bruschetta


Serves: 4

Dietary: Gluten-free, vegan


  • 250g polenta, ‘easy cook’
  • 1 litre water
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil


  1. To make the polenta, bring the water to the boil in a large saucepan. Add the salt and olive oil.
  2. Remove from the heat and slowly pour in the polenta, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon or strong whisk.
  3. Return the saucepan to the heat and keep stirring until the polenta is thick and smooth.
  4. The polenta is cooked when it falls away from the sides of the saucepan and is no longer granular in texture.
  5. For soft polenta eat straight away.
  6. For firm polenta, pour the cooked polenta into an oiled 30cm ceramic dish or tart tin, smooth over and leave until completely cold and solid.
  7. Eat at once soft like mashed potato or slice the firm polenta into triangles or diamond shapes, brush with olive oil and grill or griddle until warmed through.
  8. Serve with Mushroom Autumnal Ragout.

Related Links

  • Festive Warming Winter Pies. Mushrooms feature prominently in this course. Come along for mushroom, leek & chestnut pies, along with plenty more pastry delights.
  • Magical Mushrooms. Rachel's article in Vegetarian Living Magazine is full of mushroom inspiration and glorious recipes.
  • Mushroom, Ale & Celeriac Pie. Move over steak & ale... this hearty pie is perfect for a party and it keeps well, too.  

Exquisite mushroom photography by Rob Wicks