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Archive for the ‘Morels’ Category

St Georges Mushroom –Calocybe Gambosa

They can often be found on roadsides, hedgerows & along foot paths. The cap measures 5-10 cm, has a velvety texture with dimples. The cap, stem and flesh can be from white to creamy buff coloured. The gills are white and crowded, the flesh is thick and soft and has a mealy smell. The spore print is white to pinkish white. The stubby stem is bulky at the base.

St Georges mushroom Recipe.
Ingredients:
  • 3 eggs
  • 120g St George’s Mushroom, sliced
  • 3 asparagus spears
  • 30g butter
  • 1 tbsp Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp double cream salt and black pepper to taste
Method:
Add the butter to a pan and use to fry the mushrooms for about 2- 3 minutes. Trim the woody ends of the asparagus and add to the pan.
Cook on high heat for 4 minutes. Set the asparagus aside then mix the mushrooms with the cheese and season with salt and  black pepper.
Lightly beat the eggs in a bowl along with the water. Melt the butter in an omelette pan or shallow frying pan and pour in the eggs. Mix with a fork until the eggs begin to set then tilt the pan to coat evenly.
Place the mushrooms and cheese on top of the eggs as they begin to set then pour over the cream. Transfer to under the grill for a few minutes so that the surface sets and becomes a golden brown. Add the asparagus spears then fold the omelette in half, place on a warmed plate, garnish with parsley and serve.

Horse-radish – Armoracia Rusticana


It can be found in fields, sides of roads, almost anywhere really,  quite Common on waste ground.It has large leaves, slightly toothed and dock like, growing straight up.  If in doubt, dig down and pull the root. It will be not dis-similar to a Parsnip, fairly long but sometimes a bit lumpy, break the root in two and have a smell – you can’t mistake it then.

Long-keeping horseradish sauce

For the syrup: 1/2 pt white vinegar to 1/2/pt white sugar + a little salt.

Dig horseradish root .Wash well and peel underwater.

Cut up the root roughly and mince.

In meantime make the syrup by dissolving the sugar and salt in the vinegar over a low heat. Allow to go cold.

Use a wide-neck jar with a vinegar-proof lid. Pack in a little horseradish then add a little syrup – fill the jar in this manner. Make sure it is tightly packed and no air spaces are left.

This will keep 12 months or more.

To serve: To a tablespoon of horseradish add same quantity of thick cream and extra vinegar to taste.

Scarlet Elf Cup – Sarcoscypha coccinea

Often found on dead wood in damp, shady places. The caps, which are edible when cooked, are usually 2 or 3 cm in diameter but can be as large as 5 cm.

The irregularly shaped cups have a smooth, red inner surface and a much paler felty outer surface. The edge of young cups is usually incurved.There is a very short stipe, often buried in leaf litter, and it is the same colour as the outer surface of the cup.

Primrose – Primula Vulgaris

Can be found in woodland or hedge banks, railway embankments.  A low hairy plant. 10-25cm high, with crinkly leaves and pale yellow fragrant flowers.  March-May.  Both flowers and leaves are edible, the flavour ranging between mild lettuce and more bitter salad greens. The leaves can also be used for tea, and the young flowers can be made into primrose wine also can be used in salads candied.

Candied Primrose Flowers
Ingredients:
  • A generous handful of fresh wild primrose flowers
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tsp rosewater caster sugar to coat
Whisk together the egg white and rosewater until thoroughly mixed.  Take the primrose flowers, one at a time, then use a very soft brush (a paintbrush is ideal) to coat the flower with the egg mix. Dip in caster sugar so it’s completely covered then set on a tray covered with greaseproof (waxed) paper and set aside to dry overnight. The following day store in an air-tight jar. Typically they will keep for up to a week.

Morels – Morchella semilibera


Can be quite common to find in damp heavy soiled copses in the Spring.  Cap 2-4cm, olive brown, slightly pitted with rather regular vertical ribs. stem creamy white & hollow. Also known as half free Morel.

Crispy morel recipe

This is one of the simplest morel recipes going, and a great way to enjoy them. Breadcrumbs is preferred as it makes them crunchier.

Amounts of morels aren’t listed. Just keep beating eggs and adding more butter to the skillet until the mushrooms are gone, which will be sooner than you want!

  • Morels, sliced in half lengthwise
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups breadcrumbs (or flour)
  • 4 tablespoons of butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste

In a large bowl, roll the morels in the beaten eggs. Make sure they’re fully covered.

In a separate bowl mix together the breadcrumbs, salt, and pepper.

Dip the egg-covered morels in the breadcrumbs, making sure all surfaces of the mushrooms are covered with the crumbs.

Melt the butter in a large skillet on medium-high heat. Fry the morels until they are brown and crispy on all sides. It’s best to do this in small batches, rather than overcrowding your skillet.

Repeat until you’re so full that you can’t take it anymore, or until you run out of mushrooms.

Sweet Violets – Viola odorata

Fairly common in hedgebanks and shady places also open woodland/grassland usually on chalk or alkaline soils, Low, creepy and downy.  The flower is usually dark violet but can sometimes be pink/yellow, Sweet smelling.  Leaves rounded. Generally it does not grow much above 150mm in height. March to May

Crystallised Violets Recipe

1 egg white
caster sugar
freshly picked violets

Paint every crevice of the violet with egg white.  You can use a paint brush for this, but as I didn’t have three clean brushes in the house we used cotton buds, which did the job perfectly well. Then sprinkle with caster sugar until completely covered. Place onto a silicone baking sheet or greaseproof paper and  leave to dry.

Silver weed – Argentina anserina

Silvery green in appearance, the leaves have saw toothed edges.  Found anywhere with grass  –  lawns waste ground and recreation grounds etc.

Oxeye Daisy– Leucanthemum vulgare

Widespread usually in the summer in grassy places especially rich soil.  Erect steams up to 75cm, one flower on each steam, each with a ring of white petals and central yellow button.  The un-opened flower buds can be marinatedand used in a similar way to capers.  Young leaves can be eaten in salads.

Pickled Oxeye Daisy Buds

  • 150g oxeye daisy flower buds, picked before they show an indication of opening
  • 80g salt
  • 300ml cider vinegar
Add the vinegar and salt to a pan and heat until the salt dissolves. Put the oxeye daisy flower buds in a large jar and top with the warm vinegar mix. Cover the jar and stir every day for a week then transfer the broom buds to a clean, sterilized jar, top with the vinegar mix, seal and store in the fridge for at least 2 weeks to mature before using. These make an excellent replacement for capers and are wonderful on salads.
Wild Spring Salad
Salad:
  • 100g oxeye daisy greens
  • 100g young dandelion leaves
  • 50g sweet violet leaves and sweet violet flowers
Dressing:
  • 125ml olive oil
  • 45ml lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp prepared English (hot) mustard
  • 3 tbsp capers,minced salt and freshly-ground black pepper
Combine the greens and flowers in a serving bowl. Meanwhile, whisk together the oil, lemon juice and mustard in a small bowl. Add the capers and season to taste then pour over the salad, toss to combine and serve.


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