Our resident chef Mark Hix on the mushroomy delights of summer chanterelles

 
Mark Hix

After another unsuccessful Irish fishing trip I nipped into the woods for an hour or so as it looked very mushroomy. Success: a few handfuls of bright yellow chanterelles, which were in the frying pan on the riverbank within the hour. Shame it wasn’t salmon or sea trout in the pan but hey, that’s fishing. We had to improvise a bit and prop a blow torch in between two bricks, which was a first for me.

Summer mushrooms are something to really look forward to. There are, of course, pre-summer fungi like St George’s mushrooms and scarlet elf cups, but they are pretty scarce. The summer chanterelles, or girolles as they are sometimes known, are among my favourites in the mushroom family. The name is quite confusing though, with some countries, such as those in Scandinavia, referring to them as chanterelles when there’s a totally different winter mushroom called chanterelle, too. In fact, there are two types of these more delicate winter chanterelles, one with a brown stem and one with a yellow.

But I digress. Here’s what I recommend you do with any girolles, or whatever you want to call them, should you stumble across them in a woodland after being given the run-around by a streamful of crafty trout.

Summer broad bean and girolle salad recipe

Serves 4. This is a really simple, fresh-tasting salad – one of those dishes that you just take one look at and know it’s summer. You can vary the beans if you wish, perhaps adding some runners or bobby beans.

Ingredients

  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and sliced
  • 4 tbsp cold-pressed rapeseed oil
  • 1 tbsp cider vinegar
  • A few sprigs of tarragon, leaves removed and stalks reserved
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 250-300g girolles, cleaned
  • 200g podded broad beans

Method

  • Put the garlic, rapeseed oil and tarragon stalks into a wide saucepan with about 3tbsp water.
  • Season well and bring to the boil. Add the girolles, cover with a lid and cook over a low heat for 3–4 minutes, turning them with a spoon every so often. Take off the heat, remove the lid and leave to cool a little.
  • Cook the broad beans separately in boiling salted water for a few minutes until just tender. Drain and remove the tough skins from any larger broad beans, but leave the small ones as they are.
  • Remove the girolles from their liquid with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  • To make the dressing, carefully pour off the oily part of the girolle cooking liquid into a bowl, leaving the watery liquid behind in the pan. Whisk the cider vinegar into the oil. Chop the tarragon leaves and stir these in, too. Check the seasoning.
  • Toss the broad beans in the dressing, then spoon on to serving plates. Scatter the girolles on top, along with a few pea shoots, if using.
  • Spoon a little more dressing over the tarragon leaves and stir these in, too. Check the seasoning.
  • Toss the broad beans in the dressing, then spoon on to serving plates. Scatter the girolles on top, along with a few pea shoots.

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