London food editor Allan Jenkins forages for wild mushrooms at his summer house in Denmark, with his wife Henriette. Here's what they do with them when they get them back to the kitchen:
(N.B.: When foraging for mushrooms, please be sure to use a good guide or go with an experienced friend. Always cut the stem near the base with a sharp knife so the mycelium will still spread.)
Above: "We use morels in spring, which we find on the coast, or St George's which we find in the garden," he says. "In summer or autumn we use 'ceps' (St. Johannes in Danish), which tend to grow near pine."
Wild mushrooms on toast
- 2-3 mushrooms per person (if you are lucky), depending on size
- butter for frying
- garlic, crushed, to taste
- parsley, chopped
- salt and pepper
Fry the mushroom on a medium heat (do not stack too deep or they will "sweat"); be generous with the butter. Add garlic if using. When both are colored and lightly caramelized (around 5 minutes depending on size of mushroom and pan), season, add scant squeeze of lemon and scatter with parsley. Serve on toasted sourdough or other country bread.
Says Mr. Jenkins: "We also sometimes make a pasta sauce by covering the mushrooms with stock when they are colored, allowing to reduce by about a third (peas go well here with morels). Add single cream, bring to just off the boil, and simmer to allow the flavors to meld. Season, going easier on the salt if using a stock paste or cube. Serve with penne and freshly grated parmesan."
(N.B. For more of Allan Jenkins' summer house, see A Danish Summerhouse Garden.)