Recipe: Make room for mushrooms... and it’s time for autumn tarts

Fancy a bit of foraging? Here's an idea on what to do with wild mushrooms.... by Di Curtin
Recipe: Make room for mushrooms... and it’s time for autumn tarts

A FORAGER’S FEAST: Flat Mushrooms with Cashel Blue Sauce, by Di Curtin, great for a starter or a sassy lunch

IT will soon be the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness. That time of year when the bounty of the harvest is celebrated with gusto.

Grow-your-own fans are reaping the benefits of their hard work, with plentiful supplies of tomatoes, courgettes, cucumbers and other polytunnel delights. This is the time to get creative with the glut that nature provides, as August comes to a close.

In the fields and hedgerows, there’s foraging to be had. Soon the blackberries will hang heavy on their branches, ripe for the picking in late summer sun.

And for the foragers among you, it will soon be time to wander in the dewy fields and woodlands, gathering wild mushrooms as you go!

I remember many years ago, picking my first large flat Irish wild field or ‘fairy ring’ mushrooms, so called because they often grow in circles, in the field of a local farmer. The aroma of freshly picked mushrooms is woody and heady, a real autumnal scent that gets you anticipating the earthy flavours you get once they’re cooked.

I’m reminiscing about that this weekend, with an elegant mushroom dish from my recipe files. These flat mushrooms, which can crop up anytime from now to mid autumn, are baked gently in butter, then served with a creamy Cashel Blue cheese sauce.

Great for a first course to a smart dinner, or for a sassy lunch, served with some crusty bread and salad.

Flat Mushrooms with Cashel Blue Sauce

Ingredients (serves 4)

20-24 good sized flat mushrooms

75g butter, melted

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

225mls cream

100g Cashel blue cheese, crumbled

Rocket to serve

Method:

  • Wipe mushrooms and trim stalks.
  • Arrange them on a large baking tray lined with baking parchment.
  • Brush generously with melted butter and season.
  • Cover with foil and bake at Gas 4 350F 180C for about 15 minutes or until tender.
  • For the sauce, heat the cream in a pan. Crumble the cheese. Reserve some for finishing the plates, then stir the remaining cheese into the cream to melt. Season.
  • To serve, arrange the mushrooms on warmed plates with the gill sides upwards.
  • Spoon a little sauce into each mushroom and top with rocket.

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