Foraging has become more and more popular over the years and it is easy to see why – it’s a pleasure to find and pick your own food and enjoy fresh air and exercise at the same time.
Seasonal, locally-sourced ingredients can make all the difference to a dish and October is a particularly good month for wild mushrooms, which grow in abundance at this time of year.
Be very careful, though, if you are planning to give it a go – you need to be well informed to forage successfully. It is crucial to be able to identify what is safe to eat and what is not. So, if in any doubt about what it is and whether it’s edible, it’s always best not to risk it.
Our head chef, Rory Fulton, forages on Corstorphine Hill every Sunday morning, returning to the Spoon kitchen with bags of mushrooms, berries and herbs to cook with. Wild mushrooms have a delicious, fresh flavour, which works well in dishes such as soups, stews and risottos, to name but a few.
Mushroom and barley broth with celeriac and tarragon is perfect for the chillier weather – it’s warming, filling and tasty.
WILD FORAGED MUSHROOM AND BARLEY BROTH WITH CELERIAC AND TARRAGON (serves 10)
1kg mixed wild mushrooms
500g pearl barley
500 g celeriac, 1 cm cubed
few sprigs tarragon for garnish
8 cloves garlic
2 red onions, chopped
4 sticks celery, diced
2 carrots, diced
2lt hot veg stock
salt & pepper
Roast the celeriac in the oven at 180c for 30mins until golden brown. Meanwhile, sweat the onion and garlic in olive oil. Add the barley and stir for two minutes. Add the celery and carrot, then the hot stock. Simmer for half an hour. In a frying pan flash fry the sliced mushrooms. You may have to do this in two or three batches – don’t over load the pan or the mushrooms will stew. Add to the barley with the celeriac. Season with lemon juice, salt and pepper.
If you’d like to join Spoon’s head chef, Rory, on one of his foraging expeditions, all you have to do is to email firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.