The weather has been perfect for a bumper Scottish wild fungi harvest; long periods of warm sunshine followed by heavy summer downpours. Scottish chanterelle, with their distinctive apricot yellow colour and waxy smooth cap with waves of ridges underneath are easily identified. (Don’t try this at home.) Their flavour is delicate, aromatic and satisfying. Thankfully you won’t need to forage in mixed woods with beech trees and mossy banks; we sell them in Valvona &Crolla. (www.valvonacrolla.com).
The season is short, and they can disappear as soon as they arrive so enjoy them while you can. Last night I simply sautéed some and served them on a thick juicy steak. I appreciate we must try to eat less meat, but if we are, let’s savour every mouthful.
3-4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves new season garlic, peeled and sliced
1 dried chili
4 handfuls chanterelle
2-3 tablespoons dry white wine.
Large handful flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
Trim the base of the mushrooms and use a pastry brush to remove any grit. They are usually very clean as they appear through clumps of moss. Use a damp kitchen paper to wipe them if needed. Avoid washing them with water as they will absorb a lot and become soggy.
Slice large mushrooms, keeping as many whole as possible.
Warm the oil in a large frying pan.
Add the garlic and chilli and sauté to infuse the oil.
Increase the heat and add the mushrooms.
Coat well with the oil and add a splash of white wine.
Lower the heat and sauté for 10 minutes or so until they soften and collapse.
Season with sea salt.
Scatter with chopped parsley.
To cook the steak:
Choose 250g-300g grass fed Scotch steak; rib-eye or bavette cut are better value, flavoursome and moist. This will serve 2.
1 clove garlic, peeled and sliced
Sea salt and black pepper
Aged balsamic vinegar
Remove the meat from the fridge at least 30 minutes before cooking.
Stud with slithers of garlic, rub one side with a little olive oil, cover and leave to come to room temperature.
Pre-heat a griddle or prepare BBQ.
When ready to cook, lay the steak onto the griddle oil side down and leave for 5-6 minutes until it becomes ridged and easily comes away from the pan.
Turn and sear on the other side for 2 minutes.
Remove from the heat, season with sea salt and black pepper and drizzle with a teaspoon of aged balsamic vinegar.
Leave for 5 minutes to rest before serving.
This with the sautéed chanterelle piled on top.
Mary Contini OBE is a writer and Director of Valvona & Crolla ltd. We are happy to welcome you in our CaffèBar and shop again, open all day. Book and order online: www. valvonacrolla.com Follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. www.richardsonsofwhitehaven.co.uk