Wales is an amazing wild food larder.
If you know where to look, the nation’s hedgerows and woods are a storehouse, crammed full of delicious organic food – and all for free!
In spring there’s wild garlic and elderflower, followed by wild strawberries and raspberries.
The mellow autumn sunshine is busy ripening blackberries and elderberries.
The biggest prize of all has to be the mushroom. And not just the field mushroom, delicious though it is, species such as porcini, and chanterelles that sell for a small fortune in delis and specialist groceries, grow in abundance in Wales.
The Metropole in mid Wales teams up with fungi fanatic Daniel Butler every year, to take guests out on fascinating mushroom safaris, with great tips on how to cook up a feast being part of the adventure.
However, if you can’t get out into the woods yourself, the lovely yet simple recipe below from Crug Glas in Pembrokeshire will give you a delicious taster.
Mixed mushrooms in truffle oil and pine kernels
- 1lb selection of mushrooms (large cap, oyster, shitake and tiny wild mushrooms which are available in most supermarkets)
- White truffle oil
- 1 clove of garlic
This will serve 4 people and will take about 10 minutes to make.
Slice the large mushrooms, quarter the rest and leave the small mushrooms whole.
In a large frying pan melt the butter over a moderately hot flame, when nutty brown add the pine kernels.
Add the finely chopped garlic, then add all the mushrooms and the truffle oil. Turn the mushrooms to evenly cook and brown, this will take about 4 – 5 minutes. Add more oil if you think the mushrooms look dry. Season to taste.
On your serving dish place a ring (about 3 inches) in the centre and layer the mushrooms, pack them quite tightly so it retains its shape when you remove the ring.
Leave to stand for a few minutes before serving for the mushrooms, juices and the truffle oil to form the sauce on the plate. Garnish and serve with fresh bread.